Zondo Commission: Zwane says India trip in 2012 was paid for by agriculture department, not Guptas

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Mosebenzi Zwane. (Gallo Images)
Mosebenzi Zwane. (Gallo Images)
  • Mosebenzi Zwane has told the Zondo Commission a trip to India was paid for by the department, not the Guptas.
  • Zwane attached annexures to his affidavit to prove the government paid for the trip.
  • The commission previously heard how Zwane allegedly took a choir with him to India instead of the beneficiaries of the Estina dairy project.

Former Free State agriculture MEC Mosebenzi Zwane says his trip to India in October 2012 was paid for by the department.

Zwane, who appeared before the Zondo Commission on Thursday, attached annexures to his affidavit to prove it had paid for the trip.

Evidence leader advocate Pule Seleka asked the witness to point the commission to the proof that the department had paid for the trip.

Zwane then pointed the commission to the document.

"This is the proof chair, and I think this document has to do with subsistence and travelling [S&T], it's a proof that the department paid for this trip, they paid for this S&T," he said.

Commission chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo asked him to explain the date of December 2012 on the document for a trip that occurred in October.

Zwane said the document was delayed and only filled in some time after the trip.

The commission moved to another document that dealt with an S&T claim written "India".

Zwane confirmed the trip was taken between 15 and 23 October 2012.

Flight

Seleka questioned these dates as they differed from the itinerary of his choir which left on 13 October, two days before, on the same flight as Zwane.

Zondo clarified this point was being raised in the context it was Zwane's evidence that he travelled on the same plane as the choir.

"I must indicate that I do not have an answer in terms of this question. To the best of my collection, maybe the itinerary of the choir is faulty. The best of my recollection is that this is the recollection," Zwane said.

The former MEC added he was correcting the allegation the trip was paid for by the Guptas, which according to him, was not correct.

"The issue here, as raised by Mr Theron, was that I travelled together with the choir at the expense of the Guptas, that was the issue, and I have since reflected in this commission that this is not correct," he said.

READ | Estina dairy project: State capture hears how Zwane took church choir to India instead of beneficiaries

The commission previously heard from Ephraim Dhlamini, one of the Estina dairy project's beneficiaries, that farmers were promised trips to India for training and cattle to kick-start the project.

Instead, Zwane sent members of his church choir for training, he claimed.

The inquiry continues.

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