Home NewsFree State News R255 Million Asbestos Corruption Case Postponed: Magashule and Sodi to Face Trial in June

R255 Million Asbestos Corruption Case Postponed: Magashule and Sodi to Face Trial in June

by Central News Reporter
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Bloemfontein – The asbestos corruption case of the African National Congress (ANC) Ace Magashule has been postponed to the 19th October 2021.

The long-awaited trial in the asbestos corruption case involving former Free State Premier Ace Magashule, businessman Edwin Sodi, and others, has been deferred to 14 June. This case, centred around a R255-million contract, has captured national interest due to its implications on political integrity and accountability within South Africa.

Magashule, along with his co-defendants, faces serious charges including fraud, theft, corruption, and money laundering, stemming from an asbestos audit contract awarded during his tenure as premier. The proceedings have been complicated by legal and health-related delays from various accused parties.

One such instance came to light as the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) pointed out that Diamond Hill Trading, named as accused number five, lacked legal representation. This followed an incident where a warrant of arrest was issued against a representative of Diamond Hill Trading for failing to appear in court, with no explanation provided.

Adding to the courtroom drama was former MEC of Human Settlements and Mangaung mayor Olly Mlamleli, identified as accused number 12, who submitted a medical certificate signifying her indisposition due to a recent operation. It was stated that Mlamleli would be unavailable up until around July 2024, adding another layer of postponement to the already protracted proceedings.

Meanwhile, over in the United States, Moroadi Cholota, Magashule’s former PA, finds herself under custody and is slated for her inaugural court appearance soon. This international angle adds further complexity to a case that has domestic and international observers keenly watching.

Despite the gravity of the charges, Magashule maintains a stance of innocence, suggesting that the accusations against him are politically charged. However, specifics on his claims of political targeting remained vague as he failed to pinpoint the individuals allegedly conspiring against him.

The case relates directly to the contentious R255-million tender for auditing and removing asbestos from homes within the Free State, a tender that has since been scrutinised for gross mismanagement and corruption. The legal journey in disentangling the intricate web of accusations has seen requests by Magashule and several co-accused to quash the charges flatly denied by the High Court and upheld by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA).

Emerging from the courtroom, Magashule was seen engaging with the media, confidently stating his belief that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) lacks a substantial case against him. This sprawling case also ropes in other significant figures, such as Thabane Zulu, former director-general of the national department of housing, and entities including Blackhead Consulting along with three other companies.

Bloemfontein – The asbestos corruption case of the African National Congress (ANC) Ace Magashule has been postponed to the 19th October 2021.
Bloemfontein – The asbestos corruption case of the African National Congress (ANC) Ace Magashule has been postponed to the 19th October 2021.

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