Suspended ANC SG Magashule, corruption co-accused expected in High Court

Ace Magashule and his co-accused are facing more than 70 charges of money laundering and corruption.

Ace Magashule, the suspended African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general, speaks ahead of former President Jacob Zuma’s address following the postponement of his corruption trial outside the Pietermaritzburg High Court in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, on 26 May 2021.Picture: Phill Magakoe/AFP

BLOEMFONTEIN - Suspended African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Ace Magashule and 10 others are expected to appear in the Bloemfontein High Court on Wednesday morning.

Magashule and his co-accused are facing more than 70 charges of money laundering and corruption.

The charges relate to the alleged irregular awarding of more than R250 million in an asbestos roof removal tender during Magashule's tenure as the Free State premier.

It will be the first time that Magashule and his co-accused are appearing in the High Court after the matter was transferred by the Magistrates Court.

Wednesday’s agenda is set to deal with pre-trial matters after more accused were added to the charge sheet.

They include Albertus Venter, the head of the legal department in the office of the Free State premier; Thabiso Molikoe, former Human Settlements CFO and Thabiso Makepe, the former chief engineer in the department.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA)'s Mthunzi Mhaga said that the court would deal with a number of aspects.

"There will be discussion between the two parties to assess the state of readiness but on our part, as the prosecution, we are ready to engage and indicate to the judge our state of readiness insofar as the pre-trial is concerned."

Magashule's supporters, including ANC NEC member, Tony Yengeni, and suspended party member, Carl Neihaus, are expected to be here in a show of support.

His supporters arrived in their numbers on Tuesday night, with "Hands off Magashule" marches planned.

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