WATCH | R255 million asbestos corruption case postponed to 2021 pending more arrests

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The suspects are facing over 60 charges related to fraud, money laundering and corruption related to a R255million asbestos project in the Free State.
The suspects are facing over 60 charges related to fraud, money laundering and corruption related to a R255million asbestos project in the Free State.
Kayleen Morgan, News24
  • The R255 million asbestos audit corruption case has been postponed to 2021 for further investigations to take place.
  • The postponement will also allow for the possible addition of more accused to the charge sheet.
  • A warrant of arrest has been issued for former Free State premier Ace Magashule in the same matter.

The R255 million asbestos audit corruption case allegedly involving high-profile politicians and government officials has been postponed to 2021 for the possible addition of more accused persons to the charge sheet.

The seven accused who have already been arrested and charged made a brief appearance in the Bloemfontein Magistrate's Court on Wednesday. They included former Mangaung mayor Olly Mlamleli, businessman Edwin Sodi and former human settlements head of department Nthimotse Mokhesi.

The State placed on record that further investigations must be conducted and that additional accused may be added to the matter.

EXPLAINER | Ace Magashule warrant: What you need to know about the Free State asbestos deal

For this purpose, the matter was postponed to 19 February 2021.

The accused have been charged with fraud, corruption, theft and money laundering, among other charges, which relate to a R255 million contract for the assessment and removal of asbestos roofs and/or housing.

It is alleged that in 2014 two companies were appointed – one of which was Gauteng-based Blackhead Consulting – as service providers to the Department of Human Settlements in the Free State.

The two companies then allegedly subcontracted two other companies, one of which did the work for R21 million.

READ | WANTED! Hawks secure arrest warrant for Ace Magashule in R255m asbestos corruption probe

The rest of the money was allegedly pocketed by the accused and despite millions being used on the project, the asbestos had still not been removed, according to testimony at the state capture commission of inquiry.

It also emerged at the commission that the deal was allegedly used to direct money to several senior ANC politicians, including former Free State premier Ace Magashule.

A warrant of arrest has been issued for Magashule, who is now the ANC secretary-general. He is expected to appear in court on Friday.

Magashule has since spoken out, claiming he has done nothing wrong.


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