EFF: Mkhwebane's Vrede dairy report a cover to help Magashule

EFF: Mkhwebane's Vrede dairy report a cover to help Magashule

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane has labelled the conclusions of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's report into the Vrede dairy project a "mind-boggling whitewash".

Maimane on Friday said the DA, as the original complainants, has asked their legal team to consider the report more closely, as they immediately found problems at face value.

Committee Chairperson, Dr Mathole Motshekga, said the Committee is extremely concerned with these comments and needs clarity on "what exactly she is trying to convey".

The committee has now summoned Mkhwebane to come before them to explain her utterances and other allegations against her, including that her office was guilty of suppressing evidence in some investigations.

Maimane said he took the intended beneficiaries to meet with the Public Protector in December a year ago and she promised to act in good faith.

Dr Motshekga said it was therefore chose to call Adv. Mkwhebane to address the Committee on Wednesday on all matters that are now in the public domain as put in this space by her office as it is of concern to the Committee and South Africans in general.

"It is frankly mind-boggling how it could be that, after an nearly four-year investigation into the Vrede dairy project..." The #GuptaLeaks revealed that R220-million meant for the project was redirected to Gupta accounts overseas and was ultimately used to pay for the family's wedding in 2013.

One hundred black emerging farmers were promised five cows each as part of the empowerment scheme, but they never received them.

The report follows on the back of the recent court application by the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) for a court order to freeze assets worth around R220 million, belonging to individuals who'd benefited from the ill-fated project, including members of the Gupta family and some of their associates.

The report noted that key issues were not investigated due to capacity constraints, according to TimesLive.

The Sunday Times reported that Mkhwebane ignored evidence presented to her which implicated former Free State agriculture MEC, now mineral resources minister, Mosebenzi Zwane.

A further ground would be that the the remedial action ordered by the public protector - that Magashule institute disciplinary action against an official implicated in the project - is a conflict of interest since Magashule is implicated in the report.

Her report was called a whitewash by the DA and the EFF said it was a "cover-up" created to help Magashule, according to Eyewitness News.

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