ANC secretary normal Ace Magashule and his 15 co-accused will face 74 expenses of fraud, theft, corruption, cash laundering and asbestos contraventions once they seem within the excessive court docket in Bloemfontein on August 11.
A raft of recent expenses have been introduced in opposition to the “asbestos accused” once they appeared within the Bloemfontein Justice of the Peace’s court docket on Friday.
The court docket set the August date for coping with pre-trial issues after three extra accused have been added to the cost sheet. They’re Albertus Venter, who was the top of authorized affairs in Magashule’s workplace when he was the premier of the Free State, Thabiso Molikoe, the chief monetary officer of the Free State human settlements division, and Thabiso Makepe, the chief engineer in that division.
As Magashule headed into the court docket on Friday, flanked by ANC officers, he complained to the media that he was prepared to face trial however the courts have been “losing” his time with numerous postponements.
“You guys mentioned we should have our day in court docket. I’m ready for the courts they usually hold suspending,” he informed reporters.
Nationwide Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Sipho Ngwema mentioned the state had hoped to proceed to trial in Might however needed to settle for that the attorneys of a number of the accused would solely be accessible in August.
Asking for a postponement till August 11, prosecutor Johan de Nysschen informed the court docket: “Sadly, it’s the solely date that fits all concerned.”
De Nysschen handed every of the 11 accused current within the packed courtroom a duplicate of the brand new indictment that provides 50 counts of money-laundering and corruption and three of contravening asbestos laws, as promulgated within the Occupational Well being and Security Act, to the costs they face.
When Magashule first appeared in court docket on November 13 final 12 months, he was indicted on 21 fraud and corruption expenses.
Ngwema informed reporters that greater than 40 witnesses have been to testify in maybe the most important graft case of the post-apartheid period.
Amongst them is Venter, Magashule’s former personal assistant, whose cooperation is believed to be key for the state because it seeks to jail him for as much as 15 years for the R255-million asbestos audit scandal that performed out below his watch as premier.
The indictment states that Venter had intimate information of all monetary dealings flowing from the premier’s workplace, and had had an obligation to flag issues about impropriety.
Venter, Molikoe and Makepe have been launched on bail of R50 000 every.
“We hope for a speedy trial as a result of justice delayed, , it’s one thing else,” Magashule mentioned to the media, earlier than heading to his automobile within the barricaded streets exterior the court docket.
Requested whether or not he would deal with his supporters, he replied that he didn’t see any.
When requested whether or not he would heed mounting stress from the highest ranks of the ANC to step down as secretary normal, he responded: “As we show our innocence in a court docket of regulation.”
The asbestos scandal goes again to 2014 when a three way partnership between Edwin Sodi’s Blackhead Consulting and Igo Mpambani’s Diamond Hill Buying and selling 74 clinched profitable offers to carry out an asbestos audit and substitute asbestos roofs in homes within the province.
Not a single roof was changed.