- Former ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has again bemoaned the persistent delays in his R225-million Free State asbestos corruption case.
- He sarcastically suggested that he should follow in President Cyril Ramaphosa's footsteps and also apply for an interdict to halt the prosecution.
- Magashule said, despite the case ruling him out of contestation for any position at the ANC national conference, his blood was still green, black and gold.
Bemoaning the constant delays in his R225-million Free State asbestos corruption case, former ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule sarcastically suggested that he might take a leaf out of President Cyril Ramaphosa's playbook and apply for an interdict to halt his own prosecution.
Referring to Ramaphosa's successful urgent interdict application on Monday halting former president Jacob Zuma from privately prosecuting him as an accessory after the fact in his alleged leaking of his medical records, Magashule told journalists on Friday that he was considering the same legal route as a last resort.
"I am sure they will postpone this case repeatedly while creating stories that it is us, the accused, who are not ready."
Magashule added: "Maybe I must do what President Cyril Ramaphosa has done and interdict these proceedings so that I am also not charged, and then I will see whether the courts treat us the same because once you are charged, you have to appear in court."
He was speaking outside the Free State High Court in Bloemfontein before the pre-trial hearing on Friday. He is a key accused in the case, which has been postponed to 5 May.
Magashule has unsuccessfully tried to have the charges against him thrown out, and has since approached the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA). The case was postponed in order for the applications at the SCA to be heard first.
The pre-trial proceedings in the R225-million Free State asbestos case in which former ANC secretary Magashule is the key accused gets underway at the Free State high court in Bloemfontein. His co-accuse Edwin Sodi and Olly Mlamleli have just arrived. @News24 @TeamNews24 pic.twitter.com/WgaIYGyxEA— Juniour Khumalo (@JKwritingz) January 20, 2023
Magashule and 18 others stand accused of fraud, corruption, and money laundering.
During his last appearance, Magashule insisted that his concerns about the case being a political witch hunt be placed on record.
He asked to be charged separately in order to speed up proceedings, and suggested that the endless postponements could jeopardise his political career.
His ally Carl Niehaus, who has also been expelled from the ANC, spoke to the media outside court, saying it was unfair that the continued postponements had effectively ruled Magashule out of contention at the recently concluded ANC elective conference.
Despite being out in the cold, Magashule said: "I am here and still fine. Watch this space."