A former Democratic Alliance (DA) councillor of the Phumelele municipality, in Vrede, Free State, Doctor Radebe has testified before the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture how he was attacked by the then-Agriculture MEC Mosebenzi Zwane’s henchmen for exposing corruption in the Estina Dairy Farm project.
Radebe says a special force was hired by Zwane to deal with those opposing the controversial project.
He says he was targeted by the group after speaking out about the death of cattle at the farm in 2014.
Radebe says under Zwane, the local Department of Agriculture became very political. He says as a farmer, his cattle got sick and he was refused access to the office to see the state veterinarian.
The former councillor early revealed that the Department of Agriculture had leased 4400 hectares of land to the Estina Dairy Farm for 99 years, rent free.
“The document that was presented [at the time] is the lease between the municipality and the premier’s office for a period of 11 years. I then learnt that the Dept of Agriculture did lease the land to Estina Dairy for 99 years rent free,” explains Radebe.
The hearings have adjourned for the day as the commission seeks a new interpreter. The multi-million rand Estina Dairy project has implicated former Free State Premier Ace Magashule, Agriculture MEC Musebenzi Zwane and Agriculture HoD Peter Thabethe.