Yengeni, Bongo, Supra and Gigaba show up for Ace Magashule in Bloem
Bloemfontein - A number of prominent ANC members have arrived outside the Bloemfontein Magistrate's Court to join hundreds of party supporters who are showing support for ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, who will face corruption charges in court.
ANC members including Tony Yengeni, former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo, former finance minister Malusi Gigaba and MKMVA spokesman Carl Neihaus have gathered outside the court. Youth activist Mcebo Dlamini has also taken camp outside the court.
“We are here to show support for him as our leader. We are here to show leadership that we have to respect processes in South Africa,” Mahumapelo said outside court on Friday morning.
None of them wore ANC regalia, but Niehaus wore the full MKMVA uniform and party supporters came out in their ANC colours and carried ANC flags as they sang and danced around the court.
Buses ferrying Magashule supporters came from Gauteng, Limpopo and some parts of the Free State. They began arriving on Thursday night.
Security remained tight outside the court ahead of Magashule's appearance on Friday morning.
The police have barricaded roads with barbed-wire leading to the court and only individuals carrying permits have been allowed to enter the vicinity of the court precinct.
Many have been left to sing struggle songs in reference to Magashule outside the court to show support.
The former Free State premier is facing corruption charges related to the R255 million Free State asbestos audit project and on Friday morning he handed himself over to the Hawks just before his court appearance on Friday morning.
The R255m Free State asbestos contract was reported at the Zondo commission.
Businessman Edwin Sodi's company, Blackhead Consulting, and its joint-venture partner Diamond Hill, owned by now deceased businessman Ignatious Mpambani, were awarded the contract in 2014.
In evidence presented at the commission, it was revealed that the contract was subcontracted twice and the final company which performed the asbestos audit did so for just over R20m.
Magashule was implicated in the deal and his former personal assistant faced questions at the inquiry over requests for payments that she made to Mpambani on behalf of Magashule.
ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte said on Wednesday, in a media briefing, that Magashule had made it clear that he does not want anyone printing his name on t-shirts and protesting in his name.
He was adamant that he was prepared to see out the charges, Duarte said.