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Dairy Farm Blows Open South Africa’s Expanding Corruption Probe

  • Zuma allies targeted as prosecutors seize farm, bank accounts
  • Opposition brings charges against mines minister, Guptas
ICOAST-ECONOMY-AGRICULTURE

Photographer: Issouf Sanogo/AFP via Getty Images

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Two armed security guards man a 10-foot-high steel gate at the entrance to a dairy farm in South Africa’s central Free State province that’s at the heart of a graft scandal embroiling some of President Jacob Zuma’s closest allies.

The state-owned farm near the tiny hamlet of Vrede was leased to little-known company, Estina Pty Ltd., under a free 99-year contract in 2012 and the regional government agreed to help develop it, ostensibly to create 200 jobs. Now prosecutors say most of the 220 million rand ($18.5 million) in public funds transferred to the company ended up in the hands of the Gupta brothers, who are in business with one of Zuma’s sons.