South Africa: Mkhwebane’s Vrede dairy farm probe is a whitewash: Maimane

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DA leader Mmusi Maimane has described the public protector’s report on the Gupta-linked Vrede dairy farm project as a whitewash of corruption.

Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane quietly released the report on Friday.

It did not take into account the GuptaLeak e-mails‚ which have been widely published‚ that showed how the Gupta family is linked to the project.

Maimane said in statement on Friday that it was mind boggling that after an investigation spanning almost four years‚ Mkhwebane found only that the Free State Department of Agriculture contravened the prescripts of the Public Finance Management Act.

“There has been a large amount of evidence of grand corruption and money laundering relating to [the] Vrede [dairy project] that is already in the public domain‚” he said.[tooltip id=”4500c2f113202943ff1ae30d00c9d4ac”] [/tooltip]“Yet none of this seems to have been investigated by the public protector.” He said the report was “nothing more than a whitewash of a grand project of corruption and looting.[tooltip id=”4500c2f113202943ff1ae30d00c9d4ac”] [/tooltip]“Neither the people of Vrede or the Free State are any closer to seeing justice for being robbed of R220 million to line the pockets of the Guptas.[tooltip id=”4500c2f113202943ff1ae30d00c9d4ac”] [/tooltip]“The public protector chose to ignore our submission that the project originated in the Office of the Premier of the Free State‚ Ace Magashule‚ and made no mention of the involvement of the Guptas and how they benefitted from this project‚” he said. BusinessLIVE reported on Friday that Mkhwebane said in the report that she had noted news reports about the leaked e-mails‚ but they did not form part of the scope of her investigation. It was one of the aspects that were not investigated because of “capacity and financial constraint”.

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