The SACP in the Free State is the latest ally to deny claims that it has offered support to former Free State premier and ANC secretary-general, Ace Magashule, in his corruption case.

Student organisation, SASCO, earlier also refuted the claims.

“We are saying we are standing with communities who have been affected by asbestos and it is not our responsibility to protect and defend whoever in a serious leadership position on issues of corruption if corruption has been committed and those who committed corruption must face consequences of the law,” says Free State SACP secretary, Bheke Stofile.

Magashule, together with 10 other people and five companies, face more than 70 charges of fraud, corruption and money laundering. The charges relate to the alleged irregular awarding of the more than R250 million Free State asbestos roof removal contract.

The accused appeared in court on Friday.

A large number of Magashule’s supporters gathered outside court and at a nearby park in Bloemfontein. Police in the Free State are investigating a case of illegal gathering as a result.

Police say they could not disperse Magashule supporters:

Fate lies with structures

Addressing the media after his case was postponed to August, Magashule called on all South Africans to continue to observe and respect the lockdown regulations during the period of COVID-19.

He says it is the responsibility of leaders in society, including himself as the leader in the ANC, to make sure that they live in accordance with the laws that govern, giving guidelines on what needs to be done to avoid the spread of the coronavirus.

Magashule changed his mind at the last hour and decided not to address the thousands of his supporters whom he was meant to address after his appearance in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court yesterday. He addressed the media instead.

He thanked his supporters for coming to encourage him and for observing COVID-19 regulations.

On the governing party’s stepping aside resolution on leaders accused of graft, the ANC general-secretary said it has to be taken back to the ANC structures for consideration. He says until such a time that the ANC structures make a decision, the issue has been laid out to rest.

Magashule says he is ready to clear his name in court.

The ANC SG wants a speedy conclusion to his case: