Iqbal Sharma, co-accused to appear in court on Wednesday morning

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Gupta family associate Iqbal Sharma and 16 co-accused, including former officials of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in the Free State and several companies, are expected to appear in the Bloemfontein High Court on Wednesday.

Sharma and his co-accused are facing fraud, corruption and money laundering charges amounting to millions of rands.

The case relates to the payments the Free State Agriculture Department allegedly made to Nulane Investment for a feasibility study of potential farming projects in the province.

The Department of Agriculture allegedly paid R24.9 million to Nulane Investment between 2011 and 2012.

The funds were allegedly diverted to Islandsite Investments, a company owned by the Gupta family.

The state alleges that the accused colluded in diverting funds earmarked for rural development.

It is also alleged that when Nulane Investments was appointed to do the feasibility study, no competitive bidding was done.

Other accused are former government officials in the Free State Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Peter Thabethe, Limakatso Moorosi and Seipati Dhlamini.

The video below is reporting on the previous court appearance of the accused: