Magashule-linked company’s R1.47bn in Free State road contracts – report

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule. Photo: Nigel Sibanda

Investigative journalism unit amaBhungane has released a report alleging that certain companies linked to ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule while he was premier of the Free State benefitted from the association, receiving massive contracts and tenders.

This includes R1.47 billion in contracts given to Sedtrade, a company linked to the premier through Tsefay Hardware, a close corporation at which his son Tshepiso Magashule serves as a director.

The company is owned by the Dockrat family, accused of benefitting from other Free State projects, with family member Fayaaz Dockrat serving as a director of Tsefay alongside the younger Magashule.

Sedtrade was given R1.47 billion out of the Free State department of police, roads, and transport’s R3.3 billion infrastructure budget.

Since 2017, the department has been at the centre of allegations that it was awarding tenders to companies linked to its own boss, Sandile Msibi, as well as Magashule, who was his close ally. Msibi passed away last year, with Magashule claiming at his funeral that he had been poisoned.

He died while under investigation by the Hawks following allegations of channelling millions of rands of provincial government funds to his personal attorney, and allegedly secured a lucrative provincial government contract for a close friend.

The Citizen called Magashule, whose phone was answered by an associate who said the premier would need to read the report and asked us to phone back later. We will update this story with his comment if and when we receive it.

The Free State department of police, roads, and transport told AmaBhungane it was “not aware of any favouritism that might have stemmed from personal or political relations as alleged”.

The Dockrats told the investigative reporters that they were transparent about their links to politicians and that they had not benefitted from these associations.

The full report can be read here.

Magashule has been surrounded by controversy, particularly since the release of investigative journalist Pieter-Louis Myburgh’s recently released book Gangster State: Unraveling Ace Magashule’s Web of Capture.

The book places the ANC secretary general at the centre of state capture and details his alleged corruption and gangsterism.

Former president Thabo Mbeki said in a long Sunday Times interview this past weekend that despite his recent decision to campaign for the ANC for the first time in a decade, he was still critical of the party, mentioning Magashule by name.

Mbeki had strong words for the ANC in encouraging them to deal with the serious allegations of corruption that were plaguing their secretary-general.

“They can’t pretend that negative reporting of their secretary-general does not exist,” he was quoted saying.

Compiled by Daniel Friedman / The Citizen