Former Free State ANC Treasurer Mxolisi Dukwana says ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule should lead by example and vacate his position of power. Magashule and seven others will be back in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court on Friday together with five companies.
They face several charges of fraud, corruption and money laundering relating to the alleged irregular awarding of the more than R250 million Free State asbestos roofing audit contract.
Ace Magashule back in court on Friday:
Tensions are simmering between warring Free State ANC factions ahead of the asbestos corruption case.
Long-serving MEC Dukwana had some harsh words for his one-time ally, Ace Magashule.
“In observation, this case is important to open the lid over the strong allegations of rampant corruption that plagued our province since 2009 when Elias Magashule assumed the premiership. This appearance is in our view important to uphold the legal principle of audi alteram partem [Latin phrase meaning “listen to the other side”]. After years of allegations of fraud and corruption, we must hear the other side of the story.”
ANC KZN’s Mdumiseni Ntuli says Ace Magashule was wrong to refuse to step down:
Tough action against RET Forces
Former MEC in the Free State government, Sekgopi Malebo, has called for tough action to be taken against members of the Radical Economic Transformation (RET) Forces.
“We call on our people in general that tomorrow we, ourselves, who were supposed to be appearing there in support of our justice system, in support of the law enforcement officers that have brought Magashule and company to court, we will not do so for one reason – only out of respect for the COVID-19 rules. We will not appear in front of the court in support and obedience of the president’s call of avoiding crowds.”
Support for Magashule
Meanwhile, Magashule`s supporters are drumming up support. Members of the RET Forces claim that charges against him are politically-motivated.
The group’s Malefu Mofokeng has accused judges of having underhanded tactics.
“Comrade Ace’s charges have nothing to do with law per se but are political-motivated charges. The independence of the judiciary is compromised. Some legal practitioners are no longer committed to the rule of law, but use the rule of law to advance narrow political interests for those who are anti-economic transformation.”
Cosas National Convenor, Katleho Mangoejane, agrees with Mofokeng.
“When comrade Ace Magashule was still the Premier of the Free State, he did a lot of development at schools. He prioritised education amongst other things. That is why we feel the need to defend him because an attack on Ace Magashule is an attack on education.”
Magashule’s supporters are expected to gather outside court on Friday.