ace magashule suspended suspension cyril ramaphosa anc

ANC SG Ace Magashule. Image: Flickr (GCIS)

Asbestos case: Pre-trial proceedings to begin in High Court

Suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule and over a dozen others face charges in relation to a R255 million asbestos tender

ace magashule suspended suspension cyril ramaphosa anc

ANC SG Ace Magashule. Image: Flickr (GCIS)

Pre-trial proceedings in the R255 million corruption case against suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule and more than a dozen others, are expected to get underway at the High Court in Bloemfontein on Wednesday, 3 November 2021.

Background: In 2014, the Free State human settlements department awarded a contract worth a whopping R255 million to two companies – Diamond Hill and Blackhead Consulting. This was to audit and assess houses for asbestos roofs in the province. The project entailed inspecting 300 000 low-cost houses, however it would later be revealed that almost no work was no done, despite the money being paid.

Ace Magashule: ‘I’ve never been involved in corruption’

When Ace Magashule and his co-accused last appeared in the dock, the ANC bigwig maintained that the charges against him are politically motivated and that he didn’t even know the charges that have been brought against him. He also signalled his intention to ask for the full list of witness in the asbestos case.

Magashule also denied ever being involved in corruption.

“I looked at the charges, I looked at the indictment. I don’t even know what my charge is. So let them not delay. Let us make sure that, because 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,”

suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule

Here’s how Ace Magashule fits into this scandal: At the time the contract was rewarded, he was still the province’s premier – he is alleged to have condoned and accepted a number of gratifications on behalf of others from Ignatius “Igo” Mpambani, the late owner of Diamond Hill Trading. Blackhead Consulting, the other company which received the lucrative contract, is owned by Sodi. The payments total over R1 million, including R300 000 for tablets and R53 000 towards the tuition fees for the daughter of an acting judge.