Magashule maintains innocence as case is postponed to August
DURBAN - ANC Secretary General, Ace Magashule, maintains that he has done nothing wrong.
Speaking on the steps of the Bloemfontein Magistrate's Court following his appearance this morning, Magashule said the court was wasting his time by postponing the matter and the trial will prove that he has done nothing wrong.
Magashule and his co-accused appeared in court on charges of fraud and corruption relating to a multi-million Rand contract to audit houses that had asbestos roofs in the province.
Magashule, who is accused number 13 in the matter, is charged alongside Free State human settlements department head Nthimotse Mokhesi; its supply chain management director, Mahlomola Matlakala; businessman Edwin Sodi and Sodi’s company, Blackhead Consulting; Diamond Hill Trading 71, whose owner Igo Mpambani was murdered in 2017; and 605 Consulting Solutions, which is Mpambani’s widow Michele Mpombani’s company.
Other accused are businessman Sello Radebe and his company, Mastertrade 232; ORI and its director, Abel Manyeki; former national human settlements director-general Thabane Zulu; as well as erstwhile Free State human settlements MEC and former Mangaung mayor Olly Mlamleli. Michele Mpambani is not among the accused.
Another three senior provincial government officials – provincial human settlements department chief financial officer Nozipho Molikoe; its project management unit director, Thabiso Makepe; and Albertus Venter, an attorney who was a senior official in Magashule’s office during his tenure as Free State premier – were added as accused in the matter following their arrests by the Hawks on Thursday.
Molikoe, Makepe and Venter were each granted R50 000 bail by magistrate Saliwa.
The 16 accused are all out on bail of between R50 000 and R500 000 in Sodi’s case.
They are facing charges ranging from fraud, corruption, money laundering and contravening the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act and the Public Finance Management Act in relation to the R255 million contract. The matter was a postponed to 11 August 2021 after the teams indicated that was the only available date.