The Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomes the arrest of three senior former officials from the Department of Agriculture and Rural development (DARD) in the Free State regarding allegations of corruption at the Vrede Dairy Project. The three officials will be formally charged in court today in Bloemfontein.
The DA has been fighting for justice for both the people of the Free State whose resources have been abused at this project, as well as for the beneficiaries who after almost nine years continue to be side-lined.
The DA has fought for a decent Public Protector investigation and report through the courts followed by a submission and appearance at the Zondo Commission.
The DA is currently involved in litigation to force the Free State DARD to recognise and include the beneficiaries into the project with a court date set for 17 June 2021. Special Ad Hoc Committees have been established in the Free State Legislature on the insistence of the DA to deal specifically with the Vrede Dairy Project and the Ramkraal scandals.
The DA have also requested the Special Investigating Unit to investigate, among others, the roles of senior politicians who were the architects of, and approved the funding for, the project. These politicians include former Premier Ace Magashule and former MEC’s Mosebenzi Zwane, Eslabe Rockman and current MEC Mamiki Qabathe.
The DA will not rest until the politicians are held accountable alongside the officials who continue to be thrown under the bus of accountability.