Friday, 19 February 2021

Bloemfontein: The former Premier of Free State and current Secretaty General of the African National Congress(ANC); Ace Magashule and 14 other accused, appeared in the Bloemfontein Magistrate Court this Friday morning; 19 February 2021.

One of the suspects did not appear in court and a warrant of arrest has been issued for him.

The other co-accused include businessman Edwin Sodi; Free State human settlements department head; Nthimotse Mokhesi, the department’s supply chain management director, Mahlomola Matlakala; Johannesburg businessman Sello Radebe; Pretoria businessman Abel Kgotso Manyeki; former national Department of Human Settlements director-general Thabane Zulu; and Olly Mlamleli, the former Free State Human Settlements MEC and Mangaung Metro Mayor.

The other co-accused, 3 senior Free State Provincial Government officials were arrested by the Hawks yesterday, bringing the number to 16 who have been arrested in relation to the Free State Asbestos case.

The case was postponed and transferred to the Free State High Court; in Bloemfontein, for pre-trial hearing on the 11 August 2021.

Magashule has been charged with  21 counts of fraud, corruption and money laundering. The charges relate to the alleged irregular awarding of the more than R250 million Free State Asbestos roofing audit contract.

Thirteen (13) of the accused, had their bail extended and the three (3) accused, who were recently arrested, were granted bail.

Strong show of support from different provinces were evident, with the SG supporters showing their unwavering support to him. The SG did not deliver the speech after his appearance in court to his supporters who were waiting for him to take to the prepared podium outside court premises.

He instead addressed the media, alongside the ANC’s spoke-person; Pule Mabe, shortly after stepping outside of court.