Ex Mangaung mayor among seven to appear in court for R255m asbestos housing deal – #Zondo

As the net tightens around a cohort of officials found to have siphoned over R255m through an asbestos housing deal, Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi has revealed that former mayor of Mangaung Olly Mlameli was also arrested this week.

According to the Hawks, Mlameli is in police custody and set to appear at the Bloemfontein court on Friday. The former mayor, Blackhead Consulting businessman Edwin Sodi, former Free State HOD Nthimotse Mokhesi and three other officials were apprehended. One suspect will hand himself over, said Mulaudzi.

EWN further reports the DA has opened a criminal case against Mlameli and former premier Ace Magashule who was allegedly at the helm of the housing project. Magashule and former housing MEC Mosebenzi Zwane allegedly orchestrated the scheme for Blackhead Consulting and Diamond Hill to receive the tender to fix houses which were leaking from asbestos.

Read also: Zondo arrests: Hawks swoop on Edwin Sodi, graft-tainted Free State housing execs

Magashule and Zwane are also accused of creating a database of contractors that they awarded tenders worth R600m to between 2010 and 2011.

In addition, the initials AM were recorded for several payments on Blackhead Consulting’s bank statements and these are believed to be Magashule’s.

Read also: How Mosebenzi Zwane, Ace Magashule used Free State housing scheme to dish out R600m

Meanwhile, SABC reports the charge sheet for the seven suspects includes 60 cases. SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said the investigation into the asbestos deal begun last year. The Hawks and National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) were then roped in to complete the investigation.

The testimony by Sodi and other housing executives at the Zondo commission would be added as evidence at a later stage said Kganyago.

On Twitter, Magashule was top of the trends list as speculation over his role grew. The ANC is yet to release a statement on the arrests.

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