Ace Magashule and his friends must be arrested for stealing R200 million from poor black farmers

Issued by Mmusi Maimane – Leader of the Democratic Alliance
26 Jan 2018 in News

I welcome the decision by the Hawks to finally take action against those responsible for stealing approximately R200 million from poor black farmers in Vrede, Free State.

Reports today confirm that the Hawks have begun a “search and seizure operation” relating to the Estina Dairy Farm project in Vrede – beginning with the office of Free State Premier, Ace Magashule. This is in order to find documents and information which would prove that Ace Magashule was involved in the siphoning of money away from the Vrede Dairy Farm project and into the pockets of ANC linked cadres, most notably the Guptas.

The question is – why haven’t the perpetrators been arrested? Comprehensive evidence proving wrongdoing already exists, and has been in the Hawks possession for over 6 months. Moreover, this evidence is enough to arrest the Guptas, Ace Magashule, Mosebenzi Zwane and other ANC-connected individuals.

In August last year I went to the Hawks Head Office in Tshwane to hand over a legal indictment containing over 200 pages of concrete prima facie evidence outlining in detail how this money was stolen from the poor black farmers, and provides sufficient evidence to support the criminal charges laid by the DA in this regard. DA Shadow Minister of Finance, David Maynier MP, laid criminal charges against several members of the Gupta family, their associates, and Minister Zwane. These charges include money laundering, racketeering, assisting another to benefit from the proceeds of unlawful activities, and acquiring, possessing or using the proceeds of unlawful activities in terms of the Prevention of Organized Crime Act 121 of 1998.

We now call on the Hawks to immediately seek warrants of arrest against the Guptas, Ace Magashule, Mosebenzi Zwane and all other implicated in this scandal.

It should make us all angry that instead of empowering those who are left out of the economy, the ANC government used black South Africans as a front for a calculated scheme of grand corruption and money laundering to benefit the Guptas and their friends in the ANC. Between the Guptas and the ANC government, economic opportunity was stolen from black South Africans.

The Vrede Dairy Farm project is a textbook case study of money laundering, collusion and corruption. We will not relent until those who stole money and opportunity from South Africans are brought to book.