Crime Suspect Ace Can’t Be Face Of ANC Says Trengove

Advocate Wim Trengove on Friday argued in court why the ANC was right to suspend its crime-accused secretary-general, Ace Magashule.

It was the second day a full bench at the South Gauteng High Court was hearing evidence in the matter brought by Magashule to challenge his suspension.

Trengove is arguing that Magashule’s suspension was lawful. He said Magashule had the opportunity to make representations before being made to step aside.

When he refused to step aside Magashule was suspended. He then sought the court’s intervention.

Trengove rejected claims that ANC Deputy Secretary-General Jessie Duarte did not have the authority to suspend Magashule.

“He is suggesting that only he could suspend himself,” said Trengove, adding: “That’s ridiculous”.

Magashule, who is on bail of R200 000, says his suspension was in breach of the constitution and therefore unlawful.

Trengove also tore into Magashule’s attempt to suspend ANC president, Cyril Ramaphosa, describing it as spurious and dishonest.

Magashule has been on bail since he made his first appearance in a packed Bloemfontein Magistrates Court in November last year.

The suspended ANC secretary-general is facing charges of fraud, corruption, and money laundering.

The charges relate to the controversial 2014 Free State asbestos roofing removal project that cost the Free State human settlements more than R200m.

Magashule was premier of the Free State when the money was siphoned off.

“No organisation can have someone indicted on a serious charge be its public face,” said Trengove.

Judges Jody Kollapen, Edwin Molahleli, and Sharise Weiner are expected to make a ruling on the matter next week.