Magashule Returns To The Dock For A Pre-trial Appearance In The Fs Asbestos Fraud And Corruption Case


Ace Magashule, the suspended African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general, returns to the dock this week for the start of his pre-trial hearing on fraud and corruption allegations stemming from the Free State asbestos project.

Two days have been reserved for the trial of Magashule and 15 others, including five firms, former Mangaung Mayor Olly Mlamleli, and Edwin Sodi’s Blackhead Consulting.

They face various allegations in connection with a 2014 contract worth R255 million to analyze and remove asbestos-containing dwelling material in the Free State. Magashule was the province’s premier at the time.

He has sought to dismiss the case, which has been postponed multiple times, claiming that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) lacks legitimate evidence against him.

Magashule maintains that this fishing expedition is politically motivated.

Magashule has maintained throughout his ordeal that he is an innocent man being persecuted by the state for nefarious motives, so innocent that he has been travelling some of the country’s churches in recent days, praying for a clear road ahead of his pre-trial, which begins on Monday morning.

Magashule has been fighting both his party and the NPA since he was charged, losing the ANC’s fight against the step-aside resolution and being summarily suspended, and now awaiting the outcome of his NPA challenge.

He has asserted that the NPA has no case against him and that he is only a victim of current political events.

“This is not a trial. They are keeping me occupied, keeping me away from the ANC and the people,” Magashule stated.

Magashule will have to explain payments made to students he supported abroad by businesses associated with Blackhead Consulting, which were always made shortly after Blackhead Consulting got money from the Free State Human Settlements Department.

The hearing begins at 10:00 a.m

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