Hawks confirm arrest warrant issued for Magashule over FS asbestos scandal

Magashule is expected to appear in court this week, but he has not yet been served with the warrant.

FILE: 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. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – The Hawks on Tuesday confirmed that a warrant of arrest has been issued for African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general, Ace Magashule, in relation to the controversial Free State asbestos matter.

Magashule is expected to appear in court this week, but has not yet been served with the warrant.

The director of public prosecutions in the Free State signed the warrant on Tuesday.

Magashule is accused of scoring between R1 million and R10 million from the failed project during his tenure as premier in the province.

His arrest is linked to testimony heard at the state capture commission earlier this year about the audit of asbestos houses in the Free State with R255 million being allocated to the project.

Blackhead Consulting director Edwin Sodi, who is also behind bars, told the commission that no bidding process was done for the contract.

The commission was yet to hear from witnesses who made payments recorded by initials that include “am” believed to be that of Magashule.

Magashule has always maintained that he is not worried or surprised by the charges.

Last month, he told Eyewitness News he had “heard of” a warrant against him being signed by a Bloemfontein court relating to millions of rand spent on the failed Estina dairy farm project that left black farmers destitute.

Magashule revealed that while he was aware of talk of a warrant, he was yet to be formally served.

He claimed there was talk of a Hollywood-style arrest awaiting him, adding that his lawyers would reach out to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for further details.

“I’m not worried, I’m not surprised. I’ve been observing what is happening in the country, that’s why for now I don’t want to cast any aspersions on the law enforcement agencies,” Magashule said at the time.

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Meanwhile, the NPA’s Investigative Directorate said at the time if it was to arrest Magashule, it would do so quietly.

Investigative directorate spokesperson Sindisiwe Twala said she could not confirm whether or not Magashule was being investigated.

“If we were investigating him or if we were going to arrest him, we would have done so in secret. Why would we announce it?” Twala said.

Additional reporting by Tshidi Madia.

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