Magashule Fraud Case Postponed Again

Suspended African National Congress (ANC) Secretary-General Ace Magashule appeared briefly in the Free State High Court in Bloemfontein on Tuesday to face fraud and corruption charges.

The on-off matter was again postponed to 3 November for a pre-trial hearing, owing to new lawyers for some of the accused being roped in. Many of lawyers said they needed more time to consult their clients or familiarise themselves with the case.

The charges are linked to the R255 million asbestos audit scandal that goes back to 2014.

Magashule, who is represented by Advocate Laurence Hodes SC, appeared with several other co-accused. Collectively they face more than 70 charges that include, corruption, racketeering, fraud and theft.

Earlier Hodes apologised to the court for arriving late.

Magashule appeared in court for the first time regarding this matter on 13 November, last year and was indicted on 21 fraud and corruption charges. The pre-trial hearing was initially scheduled to be heard on 11 August 2021, but the matter was postponed.

The suspended ANC secretary-general denies any wrongdoing. Magashule is out on R200 000 bail.

After agreeing to postpone the matter again, Free State High Court Judge President Cagney Musi on Tuesday extended bail for all 15 accused until their next court appearance.

Judge Musi reminded Hodes to be on time when the court resumed.