- The Hawks have secured a warrant of arrest for former Free State premier Ace Magashule.
- The warrant has been issued in connection with allegations of corruption related to a R255 million asbestos tender.
- Magashule is expected to appear in court later this week.
ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule is set to be charged with various corruption-related counts this week.
The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, commonly known as the Hawks, confirmed that a warrant was issued for Magashule's arrest.
He is expected to appear in a Bloemfontein court on Friday.
The charges relate to a controversial R255 million asbestos contract which was issued when he was the premier of the Free State.
The province's acting director of public prosecutions (DPP), advocate Navilla Somaru, issued the warrant.
Hawks Free State spokesperson Captain Lynda Steyn said the DPP signed the warrant on Tuesday.
"That is right, I can confirm that an arrest warrant has been issued for Mr Magashule," she said.
Steyn added that Magashule was expected to appear in the Bloemfontein Magistrate's Court on Friday.
"This is in relation to an investigation by the Hawks' Serious Corruption Investigation Unit in the Free State in relation to the asbestos matter," she said.
In the past, National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) sources told News24 the institution would only charge high-profile political figures if it was sure it had a winnable case.
Speculation that Magashule received kickbacks as part of the deal deepened when Edwin Sodi, one of the businessman who secured the tender, revealed that a spreadsheet, which contained the initials AM and seemingly detailed officials who were paid money or received gifts, was indeed created on his laptop.
When Daily Maverick broke news about the arrest warrant, Magashule was on the campaign trail in Soweto, ahead of the upcoming by-elections which are scheduled to be held in the area on Sunday.
The ANC leader seemingly downplayed the development, saying he would consult his lawyers later in the day.
"I will talk to my lawyers this afternoon. It has been coming all the time so I am not worried at all," he told reporters.
This is a developing story.