A former Democratic Alliance councilor of the Phumelele municipality, in Vrede in the Free State, has revealed that the Department of Agriculture had leased 4400 hectares of land to the Estina Dairy Farm for 99 years, rent-free.
Doctor Radebe was testifying before the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture in Parktown, Johannesburg. The multi-million rand Estina Dairy project has implicated former Free State Premier Ace Magashule, Agriculture MEC Musebenzi Zwane and Agriculture Head Of Department Peter Thabethe.
Radebe explains, “The document that was represented is the lease between the municipality and the Premier’s office was 11 years, then I learned that the Department of Agriculture did lease the land to Estina Dairy for 99 years rent-free.”
Radebe also said that after media coverage of the controversial Estina Dairy Farm Project, he too began fearing for his life. Radebe says he was alerted to the dumping of cattle carcasses in a stream that provided water to the community, representing a health risk.
“Chair just after that publication to the press because that thing it caught the attention of the whole South Africa, then the security was beefed up in that dairy that no one must come close to that dairy. We were even barred from walking into the field, not just the dairy alone. That is when I had begun to stay away because my life was gonna be in danger.”