Magashule to appear in Bloemfontein Court on Friday on asbestos matter: Hawks

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The African National Congress Secretary-General, Ace Magashule says he doesn’t fear the warrant of arrest issued by the Hawks. Magashule will appear at the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court on Friday.

The Hawks confirmed Tuesday afternoon that a warrant of arrest has been issued for Magashule for his alleged role in the awarding of the 255 million rand asbestos audit tender in the Free State.

But the former Free State Premier says he has done nothing wrong. “No, no one. So let see what happens. If it happens, it will happen. What I know is that I have done nothing wrong as a citizen of South Africa. I will talk to my lawyers this afternoon, I am not worried at all, it has been coming for a very long time.”

The Hawks say they will engage with his legal team during the course of the week.

“He will appear in Bloemfontein Magistrates Court on Friday on the asbestos matter which was investigated by the Hawks – serious corruption unit in the Free State. We will organise with his lawyers and we will have him in court on Friday.”

SABC’s Samkele Maseko unpacks the warrant of arrest: 

‘Long overdue’

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Free State says the imminent arrest of African National Congress Secretary-General will go a long way in restoring public confidence in the justice system.

Free State DA legislature member, Leona Kleynhans, says action against Magashule is long overdue.

“Today is indeed a good day. We have just received information that the warrant of arrest has been issued for the arrest of Ace Magashule. This has been a long time coming on this particular asbestos. As the DA, we started working on this by going to court in July 2015. So, it’s more than five years now, but at last, this man will face justice and will have to explain all his actions in this province that he has brought poverty, unemployment and distraction to the Free State.”

Abestos accused due in court on Wednesday

Meanwhile, other accused in the asbestos corruption case, who were arrested last month, are expected to appear in the Bloemfontein regional court on Wednesday.

Seven people and five companies face more than 60 charges of fraud, corruption and money laundering.

Among the accused is the ousted Mangaung executive mayor, Olly Mlamleli, Free State Human Settlements head, Nthimotse Mokhesi, and Blackhead Consulting director, Edwin Sodi.

National Prosecution Authority spokesperson, Sipho Ngwema, says more charges are likely to be added.

“There were further investigations that the investigating officer had to follow up on and further there were issues around what happened at the police station where Mr Sodi was detained that the investigating team still had to follow up on. And therefore the prosecutor will therefore give an update in court in terms of further things that could have been added with regard to the indictment. They were further charges that we were expecting would be added to the indictment.”