The African National Congress (ANC) says the law must be allowed to take its course in the matter of the Estina dairy farm project in Vrede. This follows Friday’s raid by the Hawks on the offices of outgoing Free State Premier Ace Magashule and the Agriculture Department in Bloemfontein.
More than R220 million meant for the project has been paid to companies linked to the politically-connected Gupta family.
Magashule is the newly-elected Secretary General of the ruling party.
ANC Spokesperson Khusela Diko says the party has not as yet spoke to Magashule. Diko says Magashule has already outlined his stance on the matter.
“Addressing a media briefing of the ANC this week he (Magashule) indicated in instances such as this the law must be allowed to take its course so I think that is exactly what is happening. We should note the work being done by the Hawks. We trust that it will help us get to the bottom of whatever is going on, as to how it relates to that case. Those who are found guilty ultimately at the end of that process will have to face the full wrath of the law. So that is our position as the ANC and I think the Hawks must be given space to do their work,” said Diko.
The Freedom Front Plus Member of Parliament, Wouter Wessels says the raid at the Free-State Premier and Agriculture premises in Bloemfontein is a step in the right direction.
Wessels says Magashule is responsible for Vrede Dairy because he defended it for a number of years.
“People of the Free State deserve better than the premier that is implicated by something like Vrede Dairy and who’s office is raided by the Hawks. Just the implication thereof is unacceptable. And what we are saying is that premier is responsible for Vrede Dairy because he defended it for a number of years when a lot of people and parties raised concerns and allegations with regards to Vrede Dairy which are now being proven correct.”
The Democratic Alliance says it is hopeful that the law enforcement agencies are starting to take concrete action regarding state capture in the country.
Free State DA leader in the Free State legislature, Roy Jankielsohn says these actions by the Hawks places the ANC in a dilemma.
“Its important that the Hawks get the necessary evidence to link various politicians in the Free State to this project because we know they are involved. The action by the Hawks places the ANC in a dilemma, I can’t see how Magashule can survive being Premier of the Free State and Secretary General of the ANC under these circumstances. We welcome the actions by our law enforcement agencies specifically in relation to the Vrede Dairy Project because it affects the Free State and the finances of the Free State directly,” says Jankielsohn.
The EFF has called on the ANC to ensure that its secretary- general Ace Magashule steps down from his position in the party. EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi says the ruling party must stick to its commitment to fighting corruption among its members.
“The ANC when charges have been put and serious charges of corruption have been put against Ace Magashule, we hope they will be consistent because they said when any of them are facing serious allegations they will step down from responsibilities that they occupy. So we will expect the ANC’s Secretary General to follow on that word and this is important because they must all not be given space to interfere from the Hawks doing their work.”
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