The Commission of Inquiry into State Capture has heard how more than R260 million paid by the Free State government to Estina, and transferred to a Gupta-linked company was used to settle Estina’s VAT costs at Sars.
In an explosive testimony, Paul Holden, a researcher from Shadow World Investigation based in London, reveals how Estina dairy farm project was allegedly used to launder hundreds of millions of tax payer’s money.
The researcher was testifying about offshore money flow related to the Free State Estina Dairy Farm project at the Commission in Johannesburg on Thursday.
Holden says only a little over R21 million went into running the dairy project.
“Of the total amount paid by the Free State government, a total of R263 million was paid accumulatively to Gateway Limited, Vargafield and Sars for VAT payments connected to Estina. Of the funds deposited by the Free State government, we can trace a mere R21 million that was transferred to accounts. There appears to be a mixture of payments for the costs of running a dairy enterprise.”
Estina Dairy Farm offshore money flows related evidence:
The Estina project was established as a public-private partnership with the Free State government – intended to uplift black emerging farmers in the province.
But after the investigation by the Zondo Commission, it’s revealed how the money for the project ended up in the Guptas pockets.
On Thursday, Holden testified that the Guptas, through various offshore companies, allegedly ran a complex money-laundering enterprise to steal investments from the free state provincial government.