Magashule fails to have corruption charges against him dropped

Magashule fails to have corruption charges against him dropped

The Free State High Court has dismissed with costs suspended African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Ace Magashule and co-accused’s applications to have corruption charges in the asbestos matter dropped.

This after Magashule and his co-accused questioned the validity of the corruption and fraud charges levelled against them, insisting that the charges be dropped.

The court on Monday dismissed the applications with costs, saying applications by Magashule and his co-accused are premature and should wait for a trial court.

“The NPA welcomes the judgment and will now focus on ensuring that the pretrial conference is concluded on the next court date so that a trial date can be arranged,” said NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga.

“We have always maintained that all the matters raised by the accused should be ventilated by the trial court when the trial proceedings commence. The NPA has full confidence in the strength of its case and will let the evidence speak for itself during the trial.”

Magashule and the accused face over 70 charges, including theft, corruption and money laundering relating to a R255 million tender.

The case dates back to 2014, when the Free State human settlements department awarded a contract worth R255 million to Diamond Hill and Blackhead Consulting.

This was related to assessing asbestos in houses in the Free State, however, the work was never done despite money exchanging hands.

It later emerged only R21 million worth of work – which was outsourced to a company with actual experience in the field – was conducted.

Magashule has maintained he is innocent, and claims the charges against him are politically orchestrated.

Alongside Magashule, the following accused are also on trial:

  • Businessman Edwin Sodi,
  • Free State human settlements department head Nthimotse Mokhesi,
  • Businessman Sello Radebe,
  • Former director-general of the national Department of Human Settlements Thabane Zulu,
  • Former provincial human settlements MEC Sarah “Olly” Mlamleli,
  • Free State human settlements supply chain manager director Mahlamola Matlakela,
  • Businessman Abel Manyeki,
  • Nozipho Belina Molikoe, chief financial officer of the provincial human settlements department in 2014,
  • Thabiso Makepe, chief engineer of the department, and
  • Albertus Venter, head of the legal department in the office of the Free State premier.

Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde. Additional reporting by Cheryl Kahla

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