The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has welcomed the decision of the High Court in Bloemfontein to dismiss the applications of suspended ANC secretary-general, Ace Magashule, and three others to have the corruption charges against them dropped.
The charges relate to the R 255 million contract to have asbestos roofs in the Free State removed during Magashule’s tenure as premier of the province.
Businessman Edwin Sodi, former Human Settlements director-general Thabani Zulu, and former Free State Human Settlements head, Nthimotse Mokhesi, argued that the charges against them were premised on the evidence presented before the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.
Magashule said that the charges against him were politically-motivated.
The NPA says it’s confident that it has a water-tight case against the accused.
The pre-trial hearing will start on April 10.
At his previous hearing last month, Magashule accused the NPA of wasting time and lying to South Africans:
Magashule vows to clear his name
Magashule has since vowed to fight to the bitter end to have his name cleared.
In a report from December last year, Magashule said he also wants the prosecution to disclose the list of witnesses who have implicated him.
His lawyers have accused the prosecution of being dishonest about the role of Magashule’s former personal assistant, Moroadi Cholota.
This was after the state announced that a warrant of arrest will be issued against the US-based Cholota. Cholota has allegedly failed to cooperate with law enforcement officials.
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane found that the asbestos roof removal contract was not cost-effective. There are still more than 30 000 asbestos-roofed houses in the Free State.
The Department of Human Settlements has since promised to resolve the issue of asbestos-roofed houses in the province.
During a visit by the Department to Hillside Extension in Mangaung, residents, including military veterans, expressed discontent with the condition of their houses less than a year after occupying them.
Plans to fast-track the replacement of asbestos roofs in the Free State: