Police in the Free State have confirmed that they are investigating a case of illegal gathering when African National Congress (ANC) Secretary-General Ace Magashule appeared in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court.

Supporters of Magashule, some from as far afield as Mpumalanga and Gauteng, turnout in their number numbers to attend court proceedings.

In the video below, Magashule supporters arrive in buses:

Under Alert Level three lockdown regulations all social and political gatherings are prohibited.

uMkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) spokesperson Carl Niehaus has accused police of being used to fight political battles.

“Why this vindictive approach from the SAPS. It is a continuation of trumped-up charges against comrade Ace Magashule. It is just a continuation in a manner in which [former] president [Jacob] Zuma is being treated. What we are seeing in this country is a dictatorship of the legal side of the judiciary. And that judiciary and dictatorship is now overruling the democratic expression and processes in this country,” says Niehaus.

The below video is the full interview with Niehaus:

Magashule case moved to the high court

Earlier on Friday morning, the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court moved Magashule and his 14 co-accused case to the Free State High Court for pre-trial.

The accused face several charges of fraud, corruption and money laundering.

The charges relate to the alleged irregular awarding of the more than R250 million asbestos roof removal contract.

The alleged corruption happened during Magashule’s tenure as the Free State Premier.

The video below is the live stream of today’s proceedings: