Ace to be arrested? Warrant confirmed and signed

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Hawks confirm Ace Magashule's warrant of arrest Picture: Sidwell Guduka
Hawks confirm Ace Magashule's warrant of arrest Picture: Sidwell Guduka

POLITICS


ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule faces the prospect of being the second official to be charged and arrested while holding a high office in the governing party.

Magashule told reporters on Tuesday he was "not worried" by news reports an arrest warrant had been issued for him, and said he had done nothing wrong. 

“If it happens, it will happen, so I'm not worried at all,” he said.

The Hawks in the Free State confirmed that they had secured a warrant of arrest for Magashule in connection with the R255 million asbestos saga from when he was Free State premier.

Last month Magashule came out guns blazing amid reports that the Hawks or National Prosecuting Authority’s Investigative Directorate was about to arrest him for alleged corruption.

Magashule at the time warned against law enforcement agencies being used in ANC factional fights.

“Law enforcement agencies should be allowed to do their work without fear, favour or prejudice, and without being influenced by those who have nefarious motives and would want to finish the ANC. The FBI Hollywood-style of arrests with the aim to embarrass, tarnish and humiliate people is unfortunate,” he told City Press at the time.

Read: FBI looking at former Ace Magashule assistant in US as pressure builds on ANC supremo

On Tuesday, the Hawks confirmed that Magashule was expected to appear at the Bloemfontein High Court on Friday.

Hawks Free State spokesperson Captain Lynda Steyn confirmed that the warrant was signed. However, she said the warrant had not been issued to Magashule.

“Yes, we can confirm that the warrant has been issued. The J50 warrant was signed by the director of public prosecutions in the Free State,” Steyn said.

She said the warrant was in relation to the controversial asbestos case that has so far seen seven people arrested, including businessperson Edwin Sodi.

Magashule is accused of scoring between R1 million and R10 million from the failed project during his tenure as premier.

His arrest is linked to testimony heard at the Zondo commission into state capture earlier this year about the audit of asbestos houses in the Free State, with R255 million being allocated to the project.

Blackhead Consulting director Sodi, who is behind bars, told the commission that no bidding process was done for the contract.

The commission was yet to hear from witnesses who made payments recorded by initials that include “AM”, believed to be that of Magashule.

Read: Ace Magashule warns the Hawks to step back

Magashule has always maintained that he is unfazed by the charges.

“I’m not worried, I’m not surprised. I’ve been observing what is happening in the country, that’s why for now I don’t want to cast any aspersions on law enforcement agencies,” Magashule said at the time.

ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said the party would be monitoring the developments.

“The secretary-general stated on more than one occasion, including through his legal team, that he would cooperate with any process undertaken by law enforcement agencies. The ANC will be monitoring these developments closely and will communicate accordingly on any update should the need arise,” he said.


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Mandisa Nyathi 

Journalist

+27 11 713 9001
mandisa.nyathi@citypress.co.za
www.citypress.co.za
69 Kingsway Rd, Auckland Park
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Palesa Dlamini 

Journalist

+27 11 713 9001
palesa.dlamini@citypress.co.za
www.citypress.co.za
69 Kingsway Rd, Auckland Park

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