ANC responds to Ace’s arrest warrant

ANC secretary general Ace Magashule is set to appear in court in Bloemfontein on Friday in connection with the R255-million asbestos audit scandal.

Although the Hawks are yet to confirm the issuing of a warrant for the arrest of Magashule, sources close to the investigation said that he will hand himself over in terms of an agreement with his lawyers.

ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said that the party had learned about the warrant for the arrest of Ace Magashule in the media.

“This afternoon, [the] secretary general advised the movement that he will be in consultation with his legal team to best respond to the latest developments and to guide any response in the matter,”  Mabe said.

Mabe said Magashule had previously spoken about his imminent arrest and had instructed his legal team to establish the validity of such a warrant with the relevant authorities.


However, this time around, sources close to the investigation have told the Mail & Guardian that Magashule’s lawyer was informed of the arrest warrant and an agreement had been reached that the former premier of the Free State would hand himself over to the authorities on Friday for processing.

“He will appear at the Bloemfontein magistrate’s court on Friday and then the case will be escalated. For now, we have him for the asbestos case and the others are still being investigated,” said the source.

Mabe said Magashule had stated on more than one occasion, and through his legal team, that he would co-operate with any process undertaken by the law-enforcement agencies.

Mabe said the ANC would comment further and advise on its course of action as the matter unfolded.

“The ANC will be monitoring these developments closely and will accordingly communicate on any update should the need arise,” Mabe said.

It is not clear at this stage whether Magashule will abide by the “stand aside” rule instituted by the ANC national executive committee (NEC), in terms of which members and leaders charged with criminal activities or facing allegations of corruption should leave their posts until the matters have been concluded.

In terms of the ruling, accused people in the party leadership are also expected to appear before the party’s integrity commission, which would advise the NEC on what action to take against them.

Magashule has previously made it clear that he would not stand down over disclosures that his sons received personal protective equipment tenders valued at R2.7-million from the Free State government during the early part of the Covid-19 lockdown.

Last month a story about the warrant being issued was leaked to the media, with Magashule confirming that he was about to be arrested. However, the Hawks at the time said no warrant had been issued, and the move was seen to be an attempt by Magashule to ascertain whether he would be arrested.

This came after the Hawks arrested several people, including prominent businessman Edwin Sodi, involved in the theft of more than R200-million from the Free State department of human settlements under the guise of an asbestos audit in that province. 

The accused in the asbestos case, including Sodi and former Mangaung mayor Olly Mlamleli, are out on bail and are set to appear in court in Bloemfontein on Wednesday.

Magashule’s supporters are expected to march in his support when he appears in court. An opposing grouping inside and outside the ANC in the province is also expected to march to the court on Wednesday in a demand for Magashule to be arrested and joined as an accused person.

Last month, the group marched on Luthuli House in support of the NEC cleanout and a demand for action against Magashule and called on the party to rein in the radical economic transformation forces in the province backing him, whey they said were continuing to loot municipalities and provincial departments in the Free State.

Hawks spokesperson Colonel Katlego Mogale had not responded to calls at the time of publication.

Subscribe to the M&G for R2 a month

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

And for this weekend only, you can become a subscriber by paying just R2 a month for your first three months.

Paddy Harper
Paddy Harper
Storyteller.

Related stories

ANC: ‘We’re operating under conditions of anarchy’

In its latest policy documents, the ANC is self-critical and wants ‘consequence management’, yet it’s letting its members off the hook again

Public protector’s ‘mistakes’ were made to nail the president, court hears

Busisiwe Mkhwebane discarded facts that were inconvenient to her when she investigated the CR17 campaign, Cyril Ramaphosa’s lawyers argued

CR17 report is not perfect, but the investigation was rational, court hears

So says public protector Busisiwe Mkwhebane’s lawyer, who said she had reason to suspect the money was being laundered through the campaign

#CR17 fight heads to the Constitutional Court

amaBhungane’s arguments about the disclosure of campaign funding are also expected to be heard

Editorial: Political meddling won’t save the SABC

For years, in moves that harked back to the repressive regime of the Nats, the public broadcaster has been used by the party as its political football in internal factional battles, or to censor dissent.

Ace prepares ANC branches for battle

ANC secretary general Ace Magashule is ignoring party policy on corruption-charged officials and taking his battle to branch level, where his ‘slate capture’ strategy is expected to leave Ramaphosa on the ropes
Advertising

Subscribers only

ANC: ‘We’re operating under conditions of anarchy’

In its latest policy documents, the ANC is self-critical and wants ‘consequence management’, yet it’s letting its members off the hook again

Q&A Sessions: ‘I think I was born way before my...

The chief executive of the Estate Agency Affairs Board and the deputy chair of the SABC board, shares her take on retrenchments at the public broadcaster and reveals why she hates horror movies

More top stories

Covid-19 info lags as cases shoot up

Vital information apps and websites are outdated as cases begin to mushroom, especially near the coast, just in time for the December holidays

DA leader bought wife a car with ‘corruption’ earnings

Senior Ekurhuleni councillor Shabangu purchased a Ford SUV from an alleged R1.2-million kickback

SAA funds may need a top-up

Industry experts predict the R10.5-billion from the treasury to rescue the airline may not be enough, but the rescue practitioners say the money is enough to ‘settle the sins of the past’

Trump’s mantra of ‘fake news’ harmed media

Viewers and readers need to trust that news outlets are accurate, balanced, fair and impartial
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…