WATCH: Ace Magashule hits back at Oscar Mabuyane over claims that he set Hawks on him
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SUSPENDED ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has rubbished claims by Eastern Cape Premier and ANC provincial chairperson Oscar Mabuyane that Magashule had set the Hawks to pounce on him for political reasons.
Magashule said the claims were baseless as he did not have the powers to instruct the elite crime investigation unit to investigate anyone.
He responded to the claims upon landing at Moses Mabhida’s People’s Park in Durban on Thursday where he is attending the welcome home rally of former President Jacob Zuma.
Walking behind the stage upon emerging from his car, Independent Media asked Magashule about Mabuyane’s claims.
He said, “I don't have such powers” to instruct “the same people who arrested me”.
Mabuyane is frantically trying to avert a possible probe by the elite crime-busting unit after late last week the public protector, advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane, ruled that he illegally scored a R450 000 bonanza from a R1.1 million allocation from the Mbizana local municipality.
The funds were set aside for memorial services of the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in early 2016 and it has since been alleged that Mabuyane scored the aforementioned sum to renovate his home.
Mabuyane has since denied the allegations, accusing Mkhwebane of making unsound findings against him.
Late on Wednesday Mabuyane rushed to court to obtain an interdict to stop the Hawks from investigating him. Among the allegations he made in his long affidavit was that the Hawks from the Free State, from where Magashule hails and once was premier, cannot carry out the investigation as asked by Mkhwebane.
Instead, he said the probe, if it had to go ahead, must be carried out by the Hawks from his home province of the Eastern Cape.
He alleged that by coming from Free State, they had been sent by Magashule who was trying to settle a political score with him as he was one of those who called for Magashule to step aside after he was charged with corruption relating to the Free State asbestos scandal.
In the same affidavit, Mabuyane said once he was charged for the matter, he would have to step aside, yet the case against him was frivolous.
Speaking to a local news channel on Thursday morning, the head of the Hawks, Lieutenant-General Godfrey Lebeya, dismissed Mabuyane’s claims, saying they carried out their work without fear and prejudice.