Ace Magashule arrest warrant issued as CR’s corruption crackdown gathers speed. UPDATED

ANC secretary general Ace Magashule has featured prominently in the headlines coming out of the Zondo Commission for some time. President Cyril Ramaphosa promised to crackdown on corruption when he took office and has periodically repeated his pledge. The wheels of justice have turned more slowly than he promised, with high profile arrests expected in September. Individuals linked to a R255m housing scandal in the Free State were arrested in October (for more on that, read: Zondo arrests: Hawks swoop on Edwin Sodi, graft-tainted Free State housing execs). The secretary general of the ANC is one of the most powerful positions in the party, with former presidents – including Ramaphosa – holding that role prior to taking up the highest office. – Jackie Cameron

South Africa issues warrant of arrest for ANC senior official Magashule

By S’thembile Cele

(Bloomberg) –An arrest warrant has been issued for Ace Magashule, one of the top-ranking officials in South Africa’s ruling party, a spokeswoman for a special police investigative unit said. The warrant has yet to be served on Magashule, the secretary-general of the African National Congress, whose lawyers have agreed he will appear in the High Court in the central city of Bloemfontein on Friday, Lynda Steyn, the spokeswoman for the Hawks unit in the Free State province, said by phone.

Magashule is the highest-profile politician to face charges since President Cyril Ramaphosa took office in 2018 and pledged to crack down on graft, which became endemic during his predecessor Jacob Zuma’s rule. The government estimated that more than 500 billion rand ($32 billion) was stolen.

The rand pared a decline of as much as 1.5% to trade 0.9% weaker at 15.5125 per dollar by 2:38 p.m. in Johannesburg.The case has to do with Magashule’s role in an asbestos audit contract in the Free State, the Daily Maverick news website reported, without saying where it got the information. Steyn didn’t specify what charges Magashule will face.The Free State has long been a nexus of corruption and political power within the ANC. Magashule, who currently oversees the day-to-day running of the party, is a former premier of the region and is Ramaphosa’s biggest political rival.Pule Mabe, the ANC’s spokesman, said he was unaware of any arrest warrant.
ANC could be torn apart – analyst

(Bloomberg) — South African authorities issued an arrest warrant for a top rival of President Cyril Ramaphosa, bolstering both his hold on power and his campaign against graft.

The warrant against Ace Magashule, the secretary-general of the ruling African National Congress, has yet to be served, Lynda Steyn, a spokeswoman for the police’s Hawks special investigative unit in the Free State province, said by phone on Tuesday. His lawyers have agreed he will appear in the High Court in the central city of Bloemfontein on Friday, she said. Magashule denies wrongdoing.

Magashule, who currently oversees the day-to-day running of the ANC, is the highest-profile serving politician to face charges since Ramaphosa took office in 2018 and pledged to crack down on the corruption that became endemic during his predecessor Jacob Zuma’s rule. The government estimated that more than 500 billion rand ($32 billion) was stolen.

“For the governing party, it has very serious implications, it could tear the party apart,”said Ralph Mathekga, a political analyst and author of several books about South African politics. “It will remain to be seen if President Ramaphosa can control the party’s reaction to this. There will be calls for Magashule’s removal, and those that will be on the other side.”

Clear conscience

The case against Magashule relates to a 255 million-rand asbestos audit contract that was awarded in the Free State, Katlego Mogale, another Hawks spokesman said. Four government officials and business people were also detained in connection with the contract in September.

“My conscience is very clear,” Magashule said in an interview broadcast by Cape Town-based website News24 on Tuesday. “I have not done anything wrong.”

Ramaphosa won election as head of the deeply divided ANC by a narrow margin in December 2017 after seeing off a challenge from Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Zuma’s ex-wife and favored successor, and took over as the nation’s president two months later when the party forced Zuma to step down. A faction of party leaders who were allied to Zuma and have loosely coalesced around Magashule, have repeatedly undermined Ramaphosa’s authority.

While the legal processes against Magashule could take years to be concluded, he may be politically sidelined in the interim. That’s because the party has instructed all its members facing charges to step aside from their posts until their cases are concluded — although not all of them have complied.

The ANC urged its members to remain calm.

Magashule “reserves his right to remain silent, he will answer the courts and the judiciary at the relevant time once charges have been preferred against him,” said Dakota Legoete, a member of the ANC’s National Executive Committee. “For now we request that our secretary-general keeps quiet, he and his legal team know what to do under the circumstances.”

A book released last year by investigative journalist Pieter-Louis Myburgh implicates Magashule in a string of other illicit dealings during his time as Free State premier. While Magashule threatened to sue the author for defamation, he never followed through.

DA Free State MPL Leona Kleynhans said:

“At last the man who has been plundering the province and impoverishing its citizens since 1994 will face justice. He has acted with impunity for 26 years….Magashule still has many other issues, among others the Vrede Dairy project, that he has to answer for before the courts.”

For more about Ace Magashule, see the BizNews state capture files:

Is it nearly time up for Magashule? Insights on ANC secretary-general as Hawks circle

The FBI has reportedly joined the investigation into ANC Secretary-general Ace Magashule’s affairs, as corruption crackdown gathers momentum.

Ace Magashule: Details on his alleged corruption and tainted rise to ANC leadership

Free State support, links to powerful ANC struggle stalwarts and bribes – details emerge of how Ace Magashule became one of SA’s most powerful politicians.

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

Warnings from National Treasury on the illegal scheme were simply ignored as officals in the Free State housing department went on a spending frenzy.

Has Ace Magashule been hoist by his own petard? ANC turns up heat on its sneaky SG

Many South Africans will be breathing a sigh of relief that ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has landed in hot water with his involvement in a rival political party.

Cash for votes: Has Magashule overstepped during electioneering?

The Democratic Alliance has filed a complaint that ANC secretary general Ace Magashule handed over cash during door-to-door campaigning.

ANC Stalwarts outraged by Magashule’s racist utterances

The outrageous utterances of Ace Magashule in Phillipi on Saturday, inciting ANC supporters to exercise their vote in a racist way, is completely unacceptable.

Ace Magashule caught out in a lie of his own – Penguin

Yesterday on ENCA Ace Magashule claimed that the author of Gangster State, Pieter-Louis Myburgh, didn’t send him questions prior to the publication of the book.

SA, the Tsotsi Republic: Anger erupts as Magashule scandal explodes

South Africans have reacted with outrage following fresh revelations that catapult ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule to the top of the state capture tree.

Is Ace Magashule a nastier gangster than Jacob Zuma? Chilling details emerge

It’s a close-run thing deciding who is the worst gangster: the former president of South Africa or ANC secretary general Ace Magashule.

Cornered Magashule ‘denies’ Zuma-plot to oust Ramaphosa

Ace Magashule, a known Zuptoid, has to be one of the most cornered and most exposed politicians in South Africa right now.

Groomed by Guptas: How Free State Premier Magashule, son Gift were caught and captured

The family of Ace Magashule, Free State Premier, has been caught and captured in the Zupta net. This is evident in the #GuptaLeaks.