Today, at a meeting of the Joint Committee on Public Accounts and Finance as well as Economic Development, the ANC used its majority in a vote to protect the political architects of the controversial Vrede Dairy Project, former Free State Premier Ace Magashule and former MECs for Agriculture, Mamiki Qabathe and Mosebenzi Zwane, from being held accountable.
One ANC MPL said that summoning these individuals to account would be a “waste of time.”
The DA is not surprised that the ANC would close ranks around fellow comrades who are implicated in this controversial project and goes to show that all talk of a “New Dawn” under President Cyril Ramaphosa is nothing but an election gimmick giving people false hope. Much like the way false hope were given to the intended beneficiaries of the Vrede Dairy Project, who have to date not received any benefit at all despite a massive R230 million spent on this project.
It is a great disappointment that the Committee, empowered by the Constitution to hold the Executive to account, now deliberately shies away from doing its work – thanks to the ANC majority. The 80 beneficiaries who have been side-lined by the Free State Provincial Government from the beginning, are continuously being denied justice, and the Free State Provincial Legislature, which had an opportunity to bring to them some recourse, have failed them terribly.
The DA has championed the plight of the beneficiaries from the beginning and we will continue to push for political accountability. Ace Magashule, current Speaker Mamiki Qabathe and Mosebenzi Zwane cannot run away from their complicity in this delinquent scheme that has only ever benefited the Guptas, Estina, E’tsho, and connected ANC cadres.
Issued by DA