The pre-trial proceedings of the R225-million Free State asbestos corruption case, during which a key accused is suspended ANC secretary-general and former Free State premier Ace Magashule, had been postponed for the umpteenth time within the Free State excessive court docket in Bloemfontein on Friday. Proceedings have been postponed to twenty January 2023.
The case in opposition to Magashule and 18 others, who stand accused of fraud, corruption and cash laundering, has been postponed as a few of the accused indicated that they wish to strategy the Supreme Court docket of Attraction once more.
Throughout a earlier look, the pre-trial was postponed pending the end result of Magashule’s first utility to the Supreme Court docket of Attraction. Now after his losing bid, he indicated that he needs to enchantment the end result.
State prosecutor Johan de Nysschen submitted a brand new indictment to court docket on Friday including one other accused, Margaret-Ann Diedricks — who was arrested about two months in the past.
De Nysschen additionally indicated to Choose Phillip Loubser that Magashule’s former personal assistant, Moroadi Cholota, will likely be accused quantity 18 if she is extradited in time from the US. He stated South Africa is in talks with the US and all indications are that she can be again on residence soil earlier than the beginning of the case.
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De Nysschen says the trial can proceed even when she is just not again in time. Magashule insisted that his considerations be placed on report once more concerning the case being a political witch hunt and that justice delayed is justice denied.
Learn extra in Each day Maverick: Free State asbestos corruption case: Ace Magashule claims delays ‘deliberate’ ahead of ANC’s elective conference.
He requested to be charged individually to hurry up proceedings, as this case may jeopardise his political profession. Magashule says the limitless postponements are a political ploy in order that he couldn’t contest within the ANC nationwide management race for the occasion’s elective convention anticipated to happen in December 2022.
The fees in opposition to Magashule and others observe the awarding of a contract by the Free State Division of Human Settlements to the Blackhead Consulting three way partnership (JV) for the auditing and substitute of asbestos roofs from residential homes about six years. This was throughout his time period as premier of the province.
Learn in Each day Maverick: Ace Magashule’s R255m case ‘bears hallmarks of corruption’, says Free State prosecuting authority.
De Nysschen stated in response that there is no such thing as a political interference within the case and that the applying launched by the accused within the SCA — though their proper to take action — is the rationale for the postponement.
He stated no additional arrests had been anticipated and stated the state was able to proceed however would await the end result of the newest bid to the SCA because it may affect the trial. DM