Former Free State Agriculture head of department Peter Thabethe had trouble understanding why Treasury said that he refused to assist with investigations into Estina.

But he admitted he was aware of a confidential part of the Vrede dairy farm agreement that gave him the power to consent to disclosures.

Thabethe was testifying at the state capture commission earlier on Friday.

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo tried to explain to Thabethe that Treasury, as a custodian of public funds, had the right to exercise oversight but Thabethe was not budging.

He maintained that he did not want to grant permission for Treasury to investigate a private company.

The commission’s Advocate Leah Gcabashe: “Mr Thabethe refused to assist ENS and stated we should conduct our own investigation without his assistance. Mr Thanethe stated he was in contact with Mr Vasram and that he was aware that Mr Vasram refused to meet with us. He was, never the less, unwilling to facilitate a meeting between ENS and Estina.”