ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule, is hoping for a speedy trial.
“Because justice delayed you know is something else. We are looking forward to the 11th of August,” he says.
Magashule insist he has done nothing wrong.
The ANC SG and his co-accused appeared in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court this morning.
Their case has been transferred to the Free State High Court.
It is set down for a pre-trial on August 11.
One of the accused is suspended Free State Human Settlements head Nthimotse Mokhesi. He could not attend today’s proceedings, as he has reportedly been admitted to hospital. His warrant of arrest has been stayed until the next court appearance.
All 16 accused, including five companies, are facing more than 70 charges including those of fraud, corruption and money laundering
Arriving in court for the trial, Magashule expressed disappointed that the case was going to be a postponement.
“You guys said we must have our day in court. I am waiting for court, they keep on postponing,” he said.
However, the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) Sipho Ngwema says they would have loved to have the trial in May, but the defence team had said it will only be available in August.
Ngwema says they are confident of their case against Magashule and his co-accused.
“Massive work has been done by all the agencies; SIU, the Hawks, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions here in Free State and the Special Crimes Unit.”
Ngwema says the investigations were done over a two-year-period.
“We are very ready in terms of what has to happen here,” he says.
In the video below, Ace Magashule speaks to the media after his appearance:
However, he did not address his supporters due to COVID-19 regulations. The crowd dispersed peacefully at the central park in Bloemfontein.
Magashule was, however, seen being driven around in an open car, greeting ANC members who were marching in the CBD. He is expected to address the media later in the day.