Mosebenzi Zwane expected in court on Wednesday over Vrede dairy farm scandal

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Former minister and known Gupta ally Mosebenzi Zwane is expected to appear in court on Wednesday, in connection with the alleged Vrede Dairy Project scandal.

While former Free State premier Ace Magashule was vocal in support of the alleged scam, which reportedly saw hundreds of millions of rands earmarked for the empowerment of poor black farmers being siphoned off into the pockets of the Gupta family network, he is not among those who are expected to appear in the Bloemfontein Magistrate's Court. 

In the last part of his State Capture Inquiry report, Chief Justice Raymond Zondo recommended that both Magashule and Zwane face criminal investigation over Vrede.

He also slammed them for failing to perform their oversight functions as then-premier and MEC.

READ | Jacob Zuma damned SA to state capture, but Ramaphosa could have weakened the grip - Zondo

Zondo also suggested that the Free State government should get legal advice over whether it should sue Magashule and Zwane "to recover such monies as may be recovered from them that were lost by the [Department of Agriculture and Rural Development] in the Vrede Dairy Project as a result of their failure … to perform their legal obligations".

Mosebenzi Zwane
Mosebenzi Zwane.

"It is necessary that there be consequences for people who fail to do their job. Otherwise, this corruption and these acts of state capture are going to continue forever to the detriment of the country and all people," Zondo said.

Zwane has not responded to requests for comment.

The matter is one of the nine "seminal" state capture-related cases National Prosecuting Authority head Shamila Batohi spoke about in May.

At the time, Batohi said the NPA's Investigating Directorate intended to enrol the cases within six months.

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