According to a press release by the DA’s Roy Jankielsohn who is the Leader of the Official Opposition in the Free State Legislature, he said he is currently not happy with the way things are; Read below
Although some arrests were recently made in connection with the corrupt Vrede Dairy Project, there will be no justice for the kidnapped, tortured and murdered Mr Moses Tshake, who was allegedly a victim of his enquiries into this corrupt project. Follow-up questions to the Minister of Police by DA member of the NCOP, George Michalakis, have confirmed that the criminal investigation into his murder has led to a dead-end. See the reply here.
Moses Tshake, who was an auditor in the Free State Department of Agriculture, was murdered in February 2013 after he allegedly questioned payments linked to the controversial Vrede Dairy Project. This has been raised by the DA in the Legislature and has never been refuted by senior officials or politicians responsible for this Department. During the Premier’s budget debate in 2016, Premier Ace Magashule and his MECs ridiculed and insulted DA members for raising Tshake’s murder and other issues relating to this project.
It appears that Moses Tshake was the first real victim in the Vrede Dairy Project scandal which has subsequently led to the arrest of various individuals implicated in the Gupta money laundering scheme. However, the politicians who initiated and crafted this project have yet to be held accountable.
Premier Magashule has publicly stated that his government travelled to various countries in search of a partner for this project. The contract between the provincial government and Estina, who were both the recruited partners and implementing agents in this project, was drafted in the Office of the Premier.
The Premier and his MECs continued to appropriate funds to this project after a National Treasury Report exposed serious financial misconduct. The same report advised disciplinary action against the Head of Department, Mr Peter Tabethe, and former Chief Financial Officer, Ms Seipathi Dlamini, which was deliberately ignored by the Premier.
The provincial government continues to fund this project to the tune of about R20 million a year, while the 80 struggling beneficiaries who are meant to benefit are still being side-lined. The only current beneficiary is the new company E’tsho Civils CC, who have been appointed to manage the dairy farm. This company pockets over a million rand per month for so-called professional fees after other operational costs have been covered.
The Free State Provincial Government under Premier Magashule operates in an atmosphere of fear in which potential whistle blowers are afraid of being “Tshake’d”. Senior managers are deployed on a factional basis to protect the interests of a patronage network that is intent on plundering the province’s scarce financial resources.
The Vrede Dairy Project is a text book example of how corruption under an ANC-led government destroys lives and makes poor people poorer. Only a DA-led government will bring Total Change where true justice, redress and economic opportunities for the people of the Free State are realised.