The State Capture Inquiry has been told that Free State government is still paying R20 million annually to the Vrede Dairy project which has now been taken over by the Free State Development Cooperation.

Member of the Free State legislature, Roy Jankielsohn, is giving his testimony about the controversial Estina project at the State Capture inquiry in Johannesburg on Monday.

Jankielsohn says the provincial government said the project was not self-sustainable, hence, the additional funding.

“We were informed that the project is not self-sustainable, that they are not producing enough milk to maintain the farm and that’s why government had to put in additional funding,” says Jankielsohn.

The Commission has heard how public funds were abused to benefit the Gupta linked company, Estina in the controversial Vrede farm project.

Jankielsohn told the Commission that the farm was meant to benefit about 80 farmers, and ended up benefitting only the Gupta family.

Jankielsohn laid the initial complaint with the Public Protector, alleging that money meant for the poor was siphoned to companies linked to the politically-connected Gupta family.

Constitutional obligations of Parliament

Reacting to testimony by Jenkielson about the controversial Estina Vrede Dairy farm project, State Capture Commission Chair, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo says the constitutional obligations of Parliament and Provincial legislatures would need to be interrogated if he finds that the state was indeed captured.

“What structure and bodies provided for in our constitutional dispensation, in our legal system, failed to do their job which if they had done, maybe State Capture would not have happened at all or could’ve arrested before it went too far. And one of the areas I’m interested in is how the National Parliament and Provincial Legislature performed their oversight constitutional obligations during the relevant times.”