Police Minister Bheki Cele has been asked to arrest ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule and former Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane over the controversial Estina Dairy project, and for National Director of Public Prosecutions Shamila Batohi to prosecute the two.
Cope spokesperson Dennis Bloem said the community of Vrede and the people of the Free State wouldn’t rest until Magashule and Zwane were charged in connection with the alleged corruption that mired the project.
Several Gupta-linked businesspeople and individuals were arrested for the graft, but after a few court appearances, they were discharged and the matter provisionally withdrawn.
But Bloem accused the Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) of dragging their feet to arrest Magashule, who was Free State premier at the time, and Zwane, who was MEC of agriculture. This is despite evidence before the Commission of Inquiry Into Allegations of State Capture showing millions of rands allocated for the farming project were looted.
Bloem said the two should be charged with gross corruption. He said it was totally unacceptable that law-enforcement agencies continued to behave like they did even under President Cyril Ramaphosa’s “new dawn”. Cope suspected that many in the police, Hawks and NPA still served their old political masters.
With so many witnesses appearing before the Zondo commission and giving direct, damning evidence against Magashule and Zwane, it was totally impossible that no arrests were made.
“We are asking the question: how many of the Estina Dairy project beneficiaries must die before they will see justice and enjoy what legally belongs to them?
“For how long must they and their families live in constant fear of losing their lives like some of the other beneficiaries, who were killed mysteriously to silence them forever.” Bloem said.