Agricultural economist Andries Maree has told the State Capture Commission there was no in-depth cost benefit analysis for the Estina Vrede farm project. Maree says the business and project plans relating to the Gupta linked Estina Farm Project in Vrede were haphazard, hurried and not done by someone who was familiar with the dairy industry

The agricultural economist made a second appearance before the commission after its two-week break.

Maree told the Commission that there was no need for government to fund the Estina project. He told the commission that the feasibility study was prematurely done and the business project was unrealistic.

Maree says the feasibility study was more a document on farming than feasibility.

Earlier the inquiry heard evidence from the former Deputy Director General of the Free State Treasury – Anne Fourie, detailing how she was pressured to assist in one of the payments amounting to millions by the then provincial Agriculture CFO Seipati Dlamini.

Fourie detailed to the commission how she was brought into the Estina project.

She alleges that this happened when she was attending a colleague’s farewell function in 2015.

Fourie says there were breaches of the Public Finance Management Act.

She says she felt pressured by the then CFO of Agriculture.


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