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Probe puts politicians in spotlight

Author: Phalane Motale

The biggest land restitution fraud case in South Africa, involving more than R70 million and a proposed R2.5 billion project, could return to haunt prominent Mpumalanga businessmen and politicians. 

The case against at least five of the accused – who were facing charges of fraud and theft in connection with a land restitution deal in Badplaas, Mpumalanga – was withdrawn two years ago. 

The investigation has since been widened and top politicians have been implicated. 

The accused, who last appeared in the Nelspruit Regional Court in 2013, were three officials of the Investment for Agricultural Sustainability in Africa (Ifasa), Gustav Uys De Waal, Gert Pienaar and Ferdinand Odendaal, an Ndwandwe community trustee, Mangisi Nkosi, and land speculator and farmer Pieter Visagie.

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