Free State Treasury would not have been aware of the operational issues at the Vrede Dairy Project in 2013. That is according to former MEC for Finance in the Free State, Elizabeth Rockman.

She told the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture that in 2013 when she participated in a site visit, Estina Dairy Farm looked like a project being adequately run.

Rockman says it would not have been easy for her department to know whether or not the R104 million that was earmarked for Estina each year was used for the intended purpose.

She is adamant that monitoring and evaluation was the responsibility of the Free State Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

“The monitoring and evaluation responsibility remains that of the contracting department and that was Agriculture. So, by signing off on each and every invoice, they signed off and confirmed goods and services rendered and they have (complied) with all the regulations of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) – the executive council functions as a collective leadership. There is no superpower, except maybe the premier.”

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