Citizen Reporter
Reporter
2 minute read
12 Mar 2020
2:52 pm

We have proof Mkhwebane intentionally excluded crucial info in Vrede Dairy report – DA

Citizen Reporter

DA's MPL Dr Roy Jankielsohn say the public protector's e-mail sent to former CEO Themba Dlamini on 13 July 2017 is part of their proof.

Public Protector Adv. Busisiwe Mkhwebane is seen during a press briefing held at her offices, 4 December 2017, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

The Democratic Alliance (DA) said on Thursday they had proof that Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane intentionally excluded crucial information from the final Vrede Dairy investigation report.

DA MPL Dr Roy Jankielsohn said in a statement that Mkhwebane’s e-mail sent to former CEO Themba Dlamini on 13 July 2017 revealed that the Free State government gave Estina free land to empower the locals, promised R114 million in funding without a tender and handed over R210 million.

Jankielsohn, the DA’s Free State leader, said Mkhwebane had denied the Guptas’ involvement in the Vrede Dairy scandal.

“We know they lied. What happened to the money?” Jankielsohn asked.

He further said the Mkhwebane’s report revealed that:

  • R84 million was diverted to Dubai – only R1.7 million was used to buy dairy equipment; the rest was laundered through various Gupta-linked companies before coming back to South Africa.
  • R30 million was sent back to Linkway to pay for the Gupta wedding.
  • Examples of expenses include R2.3 million for scarves and R250,000 for fireworks.
  • Linkway claimed the wedding expenses as a business expense, avoiding tax of roughly R8 million.

“A junior auditor at KPMG red-flagged this, but was overruled.

“Meanwhile KPMG’s then chief executive Moses Kgosana was busy sending gushing emails to the Guptas about the wedding, calling it ‘the event of the millennium’.

“Kgosana has decided not to take up his post at Alexander Forbes and the IRBA (Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors) has taken the initiative to institute their own investigation into KPMG’s 2014 audit of Linkway,” the MPL said.

Jankielsohn said it was alleged that the information was deliberately withheld from the final report after a meeting with the former premier of the free state, Ace Magashule.

“This email is further confirmation of political interference in her report and that she withheld crucial information from being exposed regarding money laundering and corruption.

“It also confirms Judge Tolmay’s judgment declaring the report be ‘set aside and declared unlawful, unconstitutional and invalid’.”

Jankielesohn said the Free State government continued to fund the project for a period of seven years without beneficiaries, which brought the total to amount to approximately R370 million.

“Without beneficiaries involved on the project, this endeavour has no reason to exist, except to launder money from Free State coffers.

“We have sent this information to our parliamentary representatives as further proof of why the current public protector is not fit for office, and to the Zondo Commission, who are interrogating the Vrede Dairy Project as part of their state capture inquiry,” Jankielsohn concluded.

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