Ace Magashule load shedding

Former Free State premier Ace Magashule during the 40th anniversary of Solomon Mahlangu’s death at Kgosi Mampuru II Correctional Centre in Tshwane on 6 April 2019. Image: GCIS

Ace Magashule says SA is ‘being duped’ about Eskom crisis

Suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule had a lot to say about problems facing government, including load shedding petrol prices

Ace Magashule load shedding

Former Free State premier Ace Magashule during the 40th anniversary of Solomon Mahlangu’s death at Kgosi Mampuru II Correctional Centre in Tshwane on 6 April 2019. Image: GCIS

While government has assured citizens that it is hard at work finding solutions to the current load shedding crisis, suspended African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Ace Magashule has cast doubt and reckons his fellow “comrades” are pulling the wool over our eyes.

Magashule had quite a lot to say about the current problems facing government, most notably load shedding and skyrocketing petrol prices. He appeared before the High Court in Bloemfontein on Friday, 23 September 2022, along with other accused, in relation to a R255 million asbestos tender that was awarded when he was the premier of the Free State.

While Magashule is at loggerheads with the governing faction of the ANC, he cannot be disassociated from policies and decisions co-signed in the very office he used to preside over (Luthuli House).

ALSO READ: ‘I’m ready for the court’ – Ace Magashule ahead of asbestos pretrial

ACE MAGASHULE ON FUEL HIKES AND LOAD SHEDDING

Speaking to journalists outside court, Ace Magashule bemoaned the current electricity crisis and stressed how the ANC promised to address load shedding during elections, but failed.

“Can’t South Africans see that we are being duped and every day we are told ‘no don’t worry (about) electricity. We’ll fix’. During elections, they went and said Eskom is going to be fixed. But the Soweto aunties still today they don’t have electricity. Are you seeing ANC leaders marching with communities when food prices are high? When petrol prices are high; when electricity tariffs are high? And now Eskom wants to raise electricity tariffs by 30%. Are we going to afford it? The interest rates, the repo rate is going up. How people are going to live?”

Suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule

The case against Magashule has been postponed to 20 January next year.

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.

Here’s how Ace Magashule fits into this scandal: At the time, 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 is owned by controversial businessman Edwin Sodi, who is among the accused. 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.

Magashule maintains his innocence and says the charges against him are all politically motivated.