Mkhwebane’s woes pile up: Estina farm witness says he does not trust her

Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Image credit: Twitter/Public Protector SA

A witness in the Estina dairy farm scandal has told the Zondo Commission on State Capture that he does not trust Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

Ephraim Dhlamini was meant to be a beneficiary of the controversial project that has become a symbol of alleged Gupta-linked corruption in the Free State province.

He and about 100 other farmers were promised five cows each in the agricultural empowerment project that kicked off in 2013.

However, not much came off the project. Dhlamini said Mkhwebane’s subsequent investigation also didn’t help the beneficiaries.

We got to a point where we did not trust her. I did not trust her as a person anymore. Even to this day, I do not trust her.

Ephraim Dhlamini

Dhlamini claimed that Mkhwebane’s investigation failed to obtain evidence from 82 beneficiaries.

He spoke of a belated postponement of a meeting with Mkhwebane in November 2018.

When the beneficiaries finally met her, there was a “misunderstanding” and they lost trust in her, he said.

In May 2019, the Pretoria High Court declared Mkhwebane’s report unconstitutional and set it aside.

The court found that the Public Protector had failed in her duties relating to the Estina dairy farm project investigation.

Mkhwebane indicated in May that she was considering appealing the ruling.

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