‘I’ve never been corrupt,’ Magashule maintains innocence after court appearance

Ace Magashule appeared in the Bloemfontein High Court on Tuesday morning where his corruption case was postponed to November for the pre-trial hearing.

Suspended African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Ace Magashule appears in the Bloemfontein High Court on 11 August 2021. Picture: Felix Dlangamandla/Pool

BLOEMFONTEIN - Suspended African National Congress (ANC) secretary general Ace Magashule maintains he has never been involved in any corruption.

Magashule appeared in the Bloemfontein High Court on Tuesday morning where his corruption case was postponed to November for the pre-trial hearing.

Proceedings did not start well for Magashule as his counsel, Laurence Hodes, arrived more than 15 minutes late.

The brief hearing concluded with the pre-trial date being set for Magashule's birthday of 3 November.

Speaking to the media outside court after the hearing, he said: “In the eyes of the public, we are these corrupt people. I have never ever in my life been involved in corruption and I will never be involved in corruption. So please, let justice take its own place and its own time. But we are pleading with the NPA, let them not play with the sentiments of our people.”

Also speaking outside court, Democratic Alliance (DA) member of the provincial legislature, Leona Kleynhans, said she had been hoping that a trial date would have been set.

“It is disappointing because in the opinion of the prosecutor and in our opinion, it is quite clear-cut. There is evidence on the table, but you can't deny other people a right to defend themselves.”

The DA brought a court case six years ago to try stop payments for the asbestos eradication tender, but the party’s application was unsuccessful and R255 million was paid out on the contract in the end.

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