News / South Africa / Courts

Cheryl Kahla
Deputy Online News Editor
2 minute read
19 Oct 2021
8:09 am

Ace Magashule returns to court for R255 million asbestos tender

Cheryl Kahla

If a previously 'outstanding issue' is resolved today, the court will arrange a trial date.

Former premier of Free State Ace Magashule and 15 other co-accused appeared in the high court in Bloemfontein over 255 million tender, 11 August 2021. Photo: Felix Dlangamandla/Pool

The corruption case for suspended African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Ace Magashule continues at the Bloemfontein High Court today.

UPDATE: Magashule corruption case postponed to 3 November for pre-trial hearing

Magashule and the co-accused – 10 individuals and five companies – face over 70 charges, including theft, corruption and money laundering relating to a R255 million tender.

Ace Magashule’s corruption case

Abestos tender

The tender was awarded in 2014 for an asbestos roof eradication contract while Magashule was premier of Free State.

Alongside Magashule, the following accused are also on trial:

  • Businessman Edwin Sodi,
  • Free State human settlements department head Nthimotse Mokhesi,
  • Businessman Sello Radebe,
  • Former director-general of the national Department of Human Settlements Thabane Zulu,
  • Former provincial human settlements MEC Sarah “Olly” Mlamleli,
  • Free State human settlements supply chain manager director Mahlamola Matlakela,
  • Businessman Abel Manyeki,
  • Nozipho Belina Molikoe, chief financial officer of the provincial human settlements department in 2014,
  • Thabiso Makepe, chief engineer of the department, and
  • Albertus Venter, head of the legal department in the office of the Free State premier.

Audit

A joint venture between Sodi’s Blackhead Consulting and the late Igo Mpambani’s Diamond Hill Trading74 was paid R225 million to conduct the audit.

However, it emerged only R21 million worth of work, which was outsourced to a company with actual experience in the field, was conducted.

The contract was irregularly awarded to the companies by the Free State Human Settlements Department in 2014.

Trial date

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said the legal team is ready to proceed with the pre-trial conferencem despite a previously “outstanding issue” delaying the matter.

“There was an issue that is outstanding that related to the legal representation of one of the accused. We are hoping that matter will be resolved by Tuesday”.

If the matter is resolved today, the court will arrange a trial date, Mhaga said.

The case was initially postponed when new legal representatives were appointed.