Theatrics expected at Magashule court appearance as detractors send mask message

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule and seven others, as well as five companies, face several charges including fraud, corruption and money laundering over a multi-million rand asbestos roofing audit contract.

ANC secretary general Ace Magashule addresses supporters outside the Bloemfontein Magistrates Court where he appeared on 13 November 2020 on corruption-related charges. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News

BLOEMFONTEIN - As African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Ace Magashule prepares for his second appearance before the Bloemfontein Magistrates Court on Friday, his detractors will be donning orange masks in protest and calling for his immediate arrest.

Magashule and seven others, as well as five companies, face several charges including fraud, corruption and money laundering over a multi-million rand asbestos roofing audit contract.

Some of his supporters have made their way to the city of Manguang, while former allies, including former MEC Mxolisi Dukwana, said that they would be in orange as they support the victims of the failed project.

READ: Is ANC NEC call on step-aside guidelines the beginning of the end for Magashule?

The Orange Fridays campaign was birthed by the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation in protest against corruption.

While one group of ANC members and leaders are insisting that today should be used to send a strong message to the party, another is calling on the public to stay far from today’s court proceedings.

Magashule, his supporters in the ANC leadership and here in his home province are expected to fill some of the cordoned-off streets of Bloemfontein.

This as Mxolisi Dukwana, a friend turned foe of the ANC secretary-general, warns that this should be seen as a depressing period for the party.

ALSO READ: ANC integrity commission recommends Magashule must immediately step aside

"Where our senior members are accused of committing crime against the very same people that they sought to lead."

Dukwana, who said that Magashule was not even fit to be called a cadre of the former liberation movement, also defended his own role in mobilising against the former premier of this province.

He denied leading a parallel structure, saying that his work should not be compared to a faction in the party which called itself the Radical Economic Transformation Forces.

"We are not working within the ANC to destroy the ANC, these RET forces are destroying the ANC as well."

Dukwana said that the mask initiative was in partnership with the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, insisting that the time for impunity must end.

WATCH: What you need to know about Ace Magashule and the asbestos saga

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.