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Three arrested in Vrede farm investigations

The Hawks have arrest­ed three peo­ple for alleged cor­rup­tion in respect of the Vrede farm inves­ti­ga­tions.

In a state­ment on Wednes­day morn­ing, the Hawks said two oth­er sus­pects are expect­ed to hand them­selves over to police.

“So far, three peo­ple have been arrest­ed and two oth­er sus­pects are expect­ed to hand them­selves over to the Hawks. Oper­a­tions are still ongo­ing and fur­ther details will be made avail­able at a lat­er stage,” the Hawks said.

The spe­cialised crime-fight­ing unit, how­ev­er, did not reveal the names of those arrest­ed.

The arrests fol­low this morning’s swoop on the premis­es of the con­tro­ver­sial Gup­ta fam­i­ly in Sax­on­wold, north­ern Johan­nes­burg.

The Gup­ta fam­i­ly has been impli­cat­ed in wide-rang­ing alle­ga­tions of cor­rup­tion, includ­ing at Kry­naauwslust farm in Vrede in the Free State.

The dairy farm mat­ter is at the cen­tre of the R220 mil­lion alleged­ly paid to the con­tro­ver­sial Gup­ta fam­i­ly and com­pa­nies linked to their busi­ness­es, which was intend­ed for black farm­ers.

The Hawks last month raid­ed Free State Pre­mier Ace Mag­a­shule and the provin­cial office of the Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture in Bloem­fontein offices.

Last month, the Bloem­fontein High Court grant­ed an order to freeze assets amount­ing to R220 mil­lion of those who have been linked to the probe.

Pub­lic Pro­tec­tor Advo­cate Busisi­we Mkhwe­bane released a report last month, which high­light­ed irreg­u­lar­i­ties, gross mis­con­duct, and mal­ad­min­is­tra­tion by the Free State Agri­cul­ture Depart­ment in its han­dling of the project.

The Hawks inves­ti­ga­tion into the farm is ongo­ing. Hawks offi­cials are cur­rent­ly inves­ti­gat­ing var­i­ous premis­es around Gaut­eng. — SAnews.gov.za

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