The pre-trial hearing of suspended African National Congress (ANC) Secretary-General Ace Magashule and co-accused at the High Court in Bloemfontein on Tuesday has been postponed to the 3rd of November.
Magashule, 10 others, and five companies face charges relating to the alleged irregular awarding of the R255 million asbestos roofing scandal.
They face more than 70 counts of fraud, corruption, theft, and money laundering. Tshabalala says he will give support to Magashule just like any other leaders in the party.
Ace Magashule appears in court:
Meanwhile, Magashule has denied reports that he is fast losing support both inside and outside of the ANC. He says he still doesn’t understand why he’s being prosecuted by the ANC using state organs for an asbestos matter he was never a part of.
Magashule spoke to the media before the court started.
“Very soon you will see my support. What support am I losing, I’m losing support, then the ANC is losing support. Because my support is ANC support.”
Magashule addresses the media before court appearance:
The suspended ANC Chief Whip in the Free State legislature Vusi Tshabalala is among those who had come to show support to Magashule.
While there was visibly no huge traffic volumes of supporters, outside the court a handful of Democratic Alliance (DA) supporters carrying placards bearing anti Magashule slogans were spotted.
Whistleblower in the asbestos corruption case, Leona Kleynhans, says they are determined to get justice for thousands of residents who still live under asbestos-roofed houses in the province. Kleynhans, who is a DA member in the Free State Legislature, joined a handful of party supporters who protested demonstrated outside the High Court in Bloemfontein.
Kleynahns says they are emboldened by the Public Protector’s report which found that the Free State asbestos roof removal contract was irregularly awarded.
Tshabalala and Kleynhans speak to SABC News outside the court: