Anti-corruption unit the Hawks have distanced themselves from reports that ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule is going to be arrested.
This comes after Independent Media on Tuesday night reported that a warrant had been issued for Magashule’s arrest. It also reported that Magashule had “confirmed knowledge of his intended arrest”.
However, he denied having knowledge of the report.
He said that he had instructed his lawyers to contact the National Prosecuting Authority to verify rumours of his pending arrest.
A source told City Press on Wednesday that the rumours had been circulating for more than a month.
“The issue of the secretary-general’s imminent arrest has been in our midst for months, but there was no official warrant to arrest him,” the source said.
In a statement, Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi said there was “malicious intent to undermine the integrity of the organisation”.
The reports of Magashule’s imminent arrest come after the Hawks arrested several people last week after allegations of state capture and evidence heard at the Zondo commission.
Those arrested included Edwin Sodi, the businessperson whose company was awarded a controversial R255 million tender to remove asbestos from houses in the North West and former ANC MP Vincent Smith, who was charged for corruption and fraud related to Bosasa.
It has been speculated that Magashule could face charges related to the Vrede dairy farm scandal following testimonies at the commission.
This scandal saw at least R250 million, meant for emerging black farmers in the small town of Vrede in the Free State, paid to a Gupta-linked company, Estina, when Magashule was premier at the time.
The ANC Youth League in the province defended Magashule, accusing the governing party of using state organs to fight factional battles.
The league said it had observed “a carefully choreographed programme of using the reactionary media and state organs to isolate certain leaders of the ANC, particularly the secretary-general of the ANC, Cde Ace Magashule”.
The league called on all structures of the ANC “to fight tooth and nail against the blatant usage of state organs against other comrade(s) in furtherance of factional political battles, led by white monopoly proxies who have to act on the pre-order by their masters”.