Zwane denies knowing that Vrede shops were not supplied with milk from Estina

Former Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane sad that he did not know that the local shops of Vrede were never supplied with milk by the Estina dairy farm or that the intended beneficiaries of the project did not benefit because he had left.

FILE: A screenshot of Mosebenzi Zwane appearing before the state capture commission on 27 April 2021. Picture: SABCNews/Youtube.

JOHANNESBURG - Former Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane sad that he did not know that the local shops of Vrede were never supplied with milk by the Estina dairy farm or that the intended beneficiaries of the project did not benefit because he had left.

Zwane has passed the buck to officials about the decision to prepay Estina R30 million three days after the dairy farm agreement was signed and before any work was done.

Yet he initially told the commission that he was personally responsible for conceptualising the project and that he personally went to India to ensure that the company Paras was credible.

Zwane said that he had known since he was young that Vrede farmers should be helped but when millions were paid, he was no longer responsible.

"The nitty-gritty in terms of how this was arranged should actually be the work of the HOD, assisted of course by officials like the CFO," Zwane explained.

He said that he did not know that it was mismanaged.

"Estina had this one person, Mr Kamal Vasram, who had no farming experience, who came from Sahara Computers as a sales manager. Did you know that?" evidence leader Advocate Pule Seleka asked.

Zwane responded: "I have always been under the impression that Paras is the implementer of this."

He also claimed not to have known that farmers and the community never benefitted.

"Mr Ephraim Dlamini had a shop in town and Estina would deliver milk next door to him, which was a shop owned by a gentleman of Indian origin who did not even speak the local language and he couldn't even obtain the milk," Advocate Seleka said.

Zwane: "The milk was sold and I assumed no one was barred from buying milk there."

Zwane denied that he threatened whistleblowers.

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