The Hawks have issued a warrant of arrest on various charges of corruption for ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, in relation to the controversial R255 million asbestos contract while he was still premier of the Free State.
Magashule is the highest-profile politician to face charges since President Cyril Ramaphosa took office in 2018 and pledged to crack down on graft, which became endemic during his predecessor Jacob Zuma’s rule. The government estimated that more than R500 billion was stolen.
Hawks Free State spokesperson Captain Lynda Steyn told Moneyweb that the warrant is yet to be served on Magashule, confirming an earlier report by the Daily Maverick.
The case has to do with Magashule’s role in an asbestos audit contract in the Free State. Steyn didn’t specify what charges Magashule will face.
Once the warrant is served he would have to appear in court on Friday.
Magashule has yet to respond to news of his impending arrest. Earlier on Tuesday, he appeared as part of the ANC’s door-to-door election programme for a ward by-election to be held on Sunday.
The Free State has long been a nexus of corruption and political power within the ANC. Magashule, who currently oversees the day-to-day running of the party, is a former premier of the region and is Ramaphosa’s biggest political rival.
Pule Mabe, the ANC’s spokesman, said Magashule had become aware of the warrant and that he “would cooperate with any process taken by law enforcement agencies.”
Mabe said: “The ANC will be monitoring these developments closely and will accordingly communicate on any update should the need arise.”
Ramaphosa has yet to issue a statement on Magashule imminent arrest.
Free State asbestos project engulfed in corruption and greed (Aug 5)
Asbestos project highlights the murkiness around government tenders (Aug 20)
Asbestos heist: Further details emerge at the Zondo Commission (Sep 30)
Lost millions and lost memories seem to go hand in hand (Oct 13)