Supreme court denies Mkhwebane leave to appeal Vrede Dairy Farm matter

Public Protector, Adv Busisiwe Mkhwebane during a press briefing at the Public Protectors House, 12 December 2019, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

In March, the DA said it had proof that Mkhwebane intentionally excluded crucial information from the final Vrede Dairy investigation report.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has suffered another hit in court on Monday as the Supreme Court of Appeal has thrown out her application to appeal judgment on the Estina Dairy Farm report.

The court has ordered Mkhwebane to pay some of the legal costs as the matter had no reasonable prospect of success and would be a waste of state resources.

Mkhwebane was taken to court by the DA and the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac).

In March the DA said it had proof that Mkhwebane intentionally excluded crucial information from the final Vrede Dairy investigation report.

DA MPL Dr Roy Jankielsohn said in an email from Mkhwebane’s former CEO Themba Dlamini on 13 July 2017, it was revealed that the Free State government had given Estina free land to empower the locals, promising R114 million in funding without a tender and handing over R210 million.

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

He further said 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.
  • 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,” he wrote in the statement.

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