Estina dairy project case back in court on Tuesday

Cows at the Vrede dairy farm
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Eight accused in the more than R220 million Estina dairy project corruption case are to appear at the Bloemfontein Regional Court on Tuesday.

The accused include Varun Gupta‚ Ashua Chawla‚ Kamal Vasram‚ Ronica Ragavan and Nazeem Howa, all of whom worked for Gupta-linked businesses.

Also in the dock will be Free State Agriculture Department officials, Peter Thabethe‚ Takisi Janki Masiteng and the department’s former Chief Financial Officer Sylvia Dlamini.

During last week’s proceedings, the State argued that it had a strong case against the accused. However, the defence argue that the case should be struck off the roll citing the State’s weak case.

They also based their contention on the flawed processes which prompted the High Court in May to unfreeze some of the Gupta assets.

Last week’s adjournment was to allow Magistrate Collin Nenkosi to consider both the defense and state’s arguments before delivering the verdict.

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