Court grants bail to FS asbestos project corruption suspects
The group, made up of government officials and business owners including the director of inexperienced company Blackhead, was paid money for work that never materialised.
BLOEMFONTEIN - The seven accused in the R255 million asbestos saga have been granted bail ranging from R50,000 to R500,000.
The Bloemfontein Magistrates Court has also ordered the accused to surrender their passports.
The seven include Blackhead director Edwin Sodi, Free State Housing HOD Nthimotse Mokhesi and supply chain officer Mahlomola Matlakala.
Former Human Settlements DG Thabane Zulu, ousted Mangaung mayor Olly Mlamleli, Sello Radebe and Abel Monyeki make up the rest of the accused.
#AsbestosArrests— EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) October 2, 2020
Free State Housing HOD Nthimotse Mokhesi, Ousted Mangaung Mayor (former MEC) MOlly Mlamleli, Former Human Settlements DG Thabane Zulu, Blackhead Director Edwin Sodi among 7 suspects appearing in court @nthakoana pic.twitter.com/LriIQsXAYi
Earlier, the NPA said that it was looking to press further charges against one of the seven suspects for attempting to bribe an official while in police custody.
The seven face around 60 charges in connection with an asbestos removal tender in the Free State where they allegedly pocketed millions of rands.
The NPA's Sipho Ngwema said that the next step was asset forfeiture.
"Those who have committed crime have to pay, that is why asset forfeiture is very important, that we go and take the profits out of the actions of these people that have committed crime. The operation now is to take the assets of those people who are involved in crime so that the message is simple and clear: crime doesn't pay."