Zwane denies calling meeting with officials over delay in R30m Estina payment

Former Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane is at the state capture commission on Thursday answering questions on the Vrede dairy farm and his Gupta-sponsored trips to India.

A screengrab of former Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane appearing at the state capture inquiry on 13 May 2021. Picture: SABC/YouTube

JOHANNESBURG - Former Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane has denied that he called officials to a meeting to find out why they were delaying a payment of R30 million to Estina.

He is at the state capture commission answering questions on the Vrede dairy farm and his Gupta-sponsored trips to India.

READ: Zwane: I wasn't aware that my flight to India was paid for by Guptas

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said that it was worrying that Zwane said that he did not know as MEC for Agriculture that his department signed an agreement with Estina and not the company, Paras.

Zwane was asked why he called officials to process an urgent payment of R30 million to Estina late on a Friday.

"The meeting is about Treasury and Agriculture preparing any response should it be needed in the next meeting, which was the next Wednesday, about two aspects - reprioritisation of projects within the department itself to the tune of R30 million and the issue of R84 million. It [the meeting] was not about paying anybody," Zwane explained.

Zwane claimed that he went to India to verify the credibility of Indian company, Paras, because he believed that it was contracted to manage the Vrede dairy farm.

He said that he only found out after leaving the department that the company Paras wasn't eventually contracted by his department but subcontracted under Estina.

So, he wanted to meet the CEO of Paras but he never did because the CEO had other commitments.

WATCH: Mosebenzi Zwane returns to Zondo Commission

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.