“I am feeling like a fish in the river, it means I am well,” ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule said, as he arrived at the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court ahead of his appearance relating to the awarding of the more than R250 million asbestos roof removal contract.

On how he feels about the proceedings, he said: “You guys said we must have our day in court. I am waiting for court, they keep on postponing.”

A large number of people who are pledging support for the ANC secretary-General have filled up the streets of Bloemfontein. Some of the ANC members are from as far as Mpumalanga and Gauteng.

ANC’s national spokesperson Pule Mabe is among those supporting the governing party’s secretary-general in court.

Magashule arrives in court:

The state is expected to amend an indictment in the multi-million-rand asbestos corruption case. This follows yesterday’s arrest of three high-ranking government officials for their alleged role in the awarding of the more than R250 million asbestos roof removal contract. The three suspects will appear in court together alongside eight accused and five companies. They face several charges of fraud, corruption and money laundering.

The prosecution has warned that it’s likely to add charges to Magashule’s list of allegations. The state alleges that between June 2015 and January 2016, Magashule either received or benefited from unlawful payments of more than R1 million from the contract.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Sipho Ngwema has told SABC News that they want the case to be moved to the High Court for trial.

“We said we wanted to amend the charge sheet but also we wanted to bring three more accused into the dock. Those accused were arrested yesterday – two of them from Human Settlements – one of them from the Premier’s office. They will be added. As we said earlier, we are ready, the investigation is done so that we can go to the High Court and start the trial as soon as possible. Accused number 13 is the former premier of the Free State, so we amend the charge sheet and we are going to the High Court,” he says.

Supporters in Bloemfontein to support Ace Magashule: