Law enforcers ‘must act against #Magashule’

ANC's secretary-general Ace Magashule appears in court during his first appearance in court on corruption charges in Bloemfontein, South Africa on 13 November 2020. Picture: EPA-EFE/CONRAD BORNMAN

The Hawks and the NPA must act against the former Premier of the Free State Ace Magashule. This is according to the Congress of the People (COPE).

OFM News reports that the party’s national spokesperson, Dennis Bloem, says they are disturbed by how the two law enforcement agencies are seemingly failing to hold Magashule and former Free State Agriculture MEC Mosebenzi Zwane accountable for the multimillion-rand failed Vrede Dairy Project. Bloem says Magashule and Zwane should have been arrested for the controversial project following testimonies at the Zondo Commission implicating them in corruption.

OFM News previously reported that over R220 million earmarked to assist 80 upcoming farmers at Vrede was looted from the province without any beneficiary seeing a single cent. Testimonies before the Commission by former HOD Peter Thabethe and other key witnesses indicated how the province failed to follow proper procurement processes and how upfront payments were made without any work.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane last year in December released an investigative report on the project indicating that there were political interference and improper conduct in the procurement of the project.

She further stated that Magashule and Zwane failed to execute their oversight responsibilities.

“The people of Vrede and the Free State will only rest when the former Premier of the Free State, Ace Magashule, and former Agriculture MEC Mosebenzi Zwane, appear before a court of law and give answers to what happened to the millions of rands that were supposed to change the lives of poor farmworkers for the better. COPE calls upon the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, and the National Director of Public Prosecutions, Adv Shamila Batohi, to arrest Ace Magashule and Msebenzi Zwane,” said Bloem

The call against Magashule comes just days before he is expected to appear before court for another controversial project in the Free State. He faces 21 charges of corruption, fraud and money laundering related to the R255 million asbestos corruption case.