Thapelo Lekabe

By Thapelo Lekabe

Senior Digital Journalist

Estina dairy project: Former Free State agriculture HOD gets bail

The accused are expected back in court on 5 July 2021.

The Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court on Monday granted R10 000 bail to the former head of the Free State agriculture department, Peter Thabethe.

Thabethe and Gupta-linked businessman Iqbal Sharma appeared in court following their arrests last week in connection with the failed R288 million Estina dairy project in Vrede, Free State.

Estina dairy project update

Bail application

Magistrate Estelle de Lange said Thabethe’s release was in the interests of justice and ordered him to hand over his passport to the investigating officer.

Sharma’s bail application is still continuing.

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Charges against Estina dairy accused

Their co-accused, former Free State agriculture department head Dr Limakatso Moorosi and former financial officer Seipati Dhlamini were each granted R10 000 bail last week.

They all are expected back in court on 5 July 2021.

The accused were charged in connection with a 2011 R25 million feasibility study conducted by Nulane Investments on the Vrede Dairy Project.

Gupta-linked company

Nulane Investments is a Gupta-linked company that Sharma previously served as a director at.

According to the state’s indictment sheet, Thabethe and Moorosi face charges of contravention of the Public Finance Management Act and fraud.

Dhlamini was charged with fraud while Sharma and Nulane Investments were charged with fraud and money laundering.


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