Estina trial adjourned, magistrate set to decide on lengthy postponement

Kamal Vasram is the sole shareholder and director of the Vrede dairy farm project. (Rian Horn/M&G)

Kamal Vasram is the sole shareholder and director of the Vrede dairy farm project. (Rian Horn/M&G)

The eight people accused in the Estina dairy farm matter will have to wait until Tuesday to find out whether the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court will deny or grant the state’s request to postpone the matter by another three to five months.

Varun Gupta, the nephew of the controversial Gupta brothers, Oakbay chief executive Ronica Ragavan, former Sahara executive Ashu Chawla, former TNA media executive Nazeem Howa, Estina director Kamal Vasram and three Free State provincial government officials — Peter Thabethe, Sylvia Dlamini and Takisi Masiteng — appeared in court on Friday.

They were granted bail in February.

They were arrested on charged with fraud, theft, conspiracy to commit fraud and theft, contravening the Public Finance Management Act, contravening the Companies Act and contravening sections of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act in connection with the alleged theft of R250-million linked to the Estina dairy farm project in Vrede.

Prosecutor Justice Bakamela asked the court to grant a three to six month postponement for further investigation, to allow for the finalisation of financial reports. — News24

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Kyle Cowan

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