Magashule granted R200k bail as former PA turns state witness

Ace Magashule in court. Image credit: Twitter/NPA

The Bloemfontein magistrate’s court has granted ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule R200,000 bail and postponed his corruption matter to 19 February, 2021.

Magashule handed himself over to the Hawks in Mangaung, Free State, on Friday following an arrest warrant issued against him earlier this week.

State not opposed to bail

Magistrate Amos Moos emphasised that his bail ruling is not premised on Magashule’s position in society as Secretary-General of the ANC.

The state did not oppose bail, but revealed that Magashule’s former personal assistant when he was Free State Premier, Moroadi Cholota, has turned state witness.

Among the bail conditions are that Magashule should not make contact with Cholota, either himself or through intermediaries, and he should inform IO in case he wishes to travel.

The matter is related to the controversial R255 million asbestos audit contract issued by the Free State government when Magashule was the Premier.

The ANC Secretary-General will appear with other seven co-accused when the matter resumes in February next year, including businessman Edwin Sodi.

Charges against Ace Magashule

Magashule faces 21 counts of corruption-related charges under the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act (PRECCA).

The state alleges that he accepted various payments from the late businessman Ignatius Mpambani, whose company Diamond Hill was awarded the asbestos contract along with Sodi’s Blackhead Consulting.

In a statement, the NPA said, “It is alleged that in August 2015, Magashule corruptly accepted gratification of R53,550, paid on his request towards the tuition fees of the daughter of a then acting judge from Mpambani.

“It is further alleged that in June 2015, Magashule accepted payment of R470,000, paid on his request to M – TAG Systems for the acquisition of 200 Electronic tablets from Mpambani.

“It is further alleged that in June 2015, Magashule accepted a payment of R30,000, paid on his request to S W C Nkate from Mpambani.

“Between November 2015 and January 2016, a payment of R 250,000, on his request, was made by Mpambani to Astra Travel towards travel expenses of a delegation to Cuba.

“It is further alleged that Magashule failed to report corrupt transactions in contravention of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act 12 of 2004.”

The NPA alleges that Magashule benefitted unduly to the tune of R803,550 from payments mostly from Mpambani.

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