The Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court has moved the R250 million Free State asbestos contract case, involving ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, to 11 August 2020 for pre-trial at the Free State High Court.
There were three additional accused added to the case, namely Nozipho Belina Molikoe, Thabiso Makepe and Albertus Venter, taking the number of accused to 16. The three were all granted bail of R50,000 each.
Molikoe was the chief financial officer of the provincial human settlements department at the time, while Makepe was chief engineer of the department, and Venter is the head of the legal department in the office of the Free State premier.
Nthimotse Mokhesi, the head of department for Free State human settlements, could not appear in court because of ill health.
The other accused are:
- Mahlomola John Matlakala
- Edwin Sodi
- Sello Joseph Radebe
- Abel Kgotso Manyeki
- Thabane Wiseman Zulu
- Sarah Olly Mlamleli
They appeared alongside five companies, namely:
- Blackhead Consulting
- Diamond Hill Trading 71
- 605 Consulting Solutions
- Mastertrade 232
- Ori Group
“They are all charged with more than 70 counts of fraud, theft, attempted theft, corruption in contravention of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, money laundering and contravention of various Asbestos Regulations, promulgated in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993,” the National Prosecuting Authority said in a statement.