Johannesburg – Mosebenzi Zwane, who is now chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Transport, took the gospel assembly from his city of Vrede, a free country, to travel with all the expenses paid to India instead of the emerging farmers to be educated in the field of dairy industry, the State Intelligence Commission heard on Tuesday.
Ephraim Dhlamini, a resident of the town of Thembalihla in the city of Vrede, testified about how Zwane triggered an unsuccessful agricultural project Vrede. He said Zwane called a public meeting in Vrede in 2012.
Dhlamini said that he owns 52 cattle on municipal land and that he is also president of the association of local farmers at Vrede.
"Zwane has come." [local Phumelela municipality] mayor [Tlokotsi] Motaung, [department officials] Thuto and Khulaiza Sibeko. There were almost a hundred people in the hall. Zwane talked about the new dairy farm project at the meeting. Milk would also be processed into yogurt and cheese. Then we wrote the names after we ran into different teams for the work that is coming.
Dhlamini said that he knew Zwane very well and his family, especially his father, who was a local pastor.
He said that things happened very soon after the first meeting. 4400 hectares of land were rented in a 99-year lease and intended to start milk production. Follow-up meetings were intended to inform new cooperating farmers about the project.
Zwane told the group at the second meeting that the government will buy 10 cows for each beneficiary to use for milk production on the farm.
In addition, Dhlamini said ownership would be split between the government and emerging farmers and that red meat owners could opt to sell their cows and buy a share in the project. Zwane told them that the surplus from the profits would benefit the community by building roads and setting up a financial fund.
It will also continue to India, which is the second largest dairy producer in the world in the United States, where they would be trained in milk production and milk processing.
"Although I was not interested in dairy farming because I was a farmer of red meat, I was satisfied. We were enthusiastic and happy, especially when we heard that they would take us to India to train for the work of your choice. We are very satisfied, "Dhlamini said.
He said that a committee was set up, led by June Mahlab to represent the beneficiaries of the dairy farm.
The Indian trip was not for farmers in the ascent, Dhlamini said. Zwane and some members of the department instead adopted local members of the gospel on the way.
"They." [choir members] it did not stay long because they got sick due to spicy Indian food there. His father was a pastor and there was a famous choir in the city. "
Deputy President of the Commission, Raymond Zondo, asked: "Do you say that he took his choir to train instead of the wannabe farmer?"
Dlamini replied, "Yes, young [choir members] Tell us. They said that a few days there were trained for dairy farming. "
He said that later Ms. Meyer, from the Acea Magashule office, invited another meeting in which he asked black farmers to bring in personal documents. Dhamhini said he was skeptical.
"One day before, I met a farmer who called on me not to hand over my personal documents because I heard rumors that the national ministry of agriculture paid the funds, and the government needed the names of the beneficiaries for the project," he said.
"At a meeting in Bethlehem, I also heard that there were conflicts in the diary where questions were raised about who the beneficiaries were because funds were paid. But they did not accept my advice to make copies and hand them over Miss t Meyer.
Black farmers were waiting again, but nothing happened. Some have sold their cattle for a stake in the dairy project, but they were still waiting, he said.
Dhlamini said he later complained to the Minister of Agriculture and Land Reform, Senzeni Zokwani, on the imbysis in Frankfurt. He said that Zokwani told that relatives working on the dairy talk about members of the Gupta family who are present at the farm who spoke in foreign accents and can not speak English correctly.
"I told him [Zokwana] that our identity cards were accepted for the start of the milk and dairy project, but we did not receive anything and that we were promised that we would go to India and that this did not happen, which means that there is crime there and that our ID cards were used. "
Dhlamini said he asked Zokwano for help. Zokwana, said, objected and said that Dhlamini should not misuse people.
"It seemed that Zokwan did not want me to mention Guptas. [Departmennt official] Thabethe mediated and said he would solve the issue of the daily project, "he said.
E-mail, named GuptaLeaks in 2017, revealed how Zwane drove 24 people to India on a trip to India.
The African Press Agency (ANA)