Magashule mum on missing Pierneef masterpiece amid probe

Ace Magashule is at the centre of a criminal investigation into the disappearance of the valuable Pierneef painting while he was still the Free State premier.

ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule is seen during the ANC press conference on 1 August 2018 on the outcomes of the ANC NEC Lekgotla that was held on 30 to 31 July 2018 in Tshwane. Image: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

MIDVAAL - Former Free State Premier Ace Magashule has refused to comment on a multi-million rand painting that went missing when he vacated his office to assume his new role as African National Congress secretary-general.

Magashule is at the centre of a criminal investigation into the disappearance of the valuable Pierneef painting from the premier's office in Bloemfontein.

The painting by South African landscape master Jacobus Hendrik Pierneef with an estimated value of up to R8 million went missing earlier this year.

The Daily Maverick reported that the multi-million rand painting was placed among Magashule's personal belongings when his office was cleared out and then given to one of the former premier's closest aides.

Ricardo Mettler, who admitted receiving the painting as a gift from Magashule, gave the painting to a local businessman who, in turn, asked auctioneers to help determine the artwork's value.

While he has now suggested that the painting was given to him by mistake, Magashule doesn't want to talk about this.

“Let me not respond to allegations. I’m not addressing anything about Free State because it’s allegations.”

The Hawks are now investigating the alleged theft of the artwork.

LISTEN: Painting worth millions missing from Magashule's old office

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)