The frontrunner, Mmathabo Leeto, who is MEC for sports, arts and culture faces a hurdle after charges of fraud and corruption were reinstated against her.
Leeto and the Free State MEC for environmental affairs, tourism and economic affairs Benny Malakoane are being charged separately for fraud and corruption. The charges against them stem from when Leeto was mayor of Matjhabeng Local Municipality and Malakoane the municipal manager in 2013.
The DA’s call came after Justice Minister Michael Masutha confirmed that Leeto - and Malakoane - now face corruption, fraud and five counts of money laundering charges. DA Free State caucus leader Roy Jankielsohn said another front runner, MEC for Police Sam Mashinini, failed to act against his former department head Sandile Msibi who allegedly paid millions on legal companies of his close friends. He died last year.
“Even Finance MEC, Elzabe Rockman, was implicated in a National Treasury investigation involving communication contracts."
Magashule’s rival, Thabo Manyoni, was implicated with Magashule and former Free State Legislature secretary, Bernard Phitsane, in soliciting shares in a project while Manyoni was mayor, he said.