Court dismiss Magashule and co-accused bid to have corruption charges dropped.
By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
The Free State High Court has dismissed with costs suspended African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Ace Magashule and co-accused’s applications to have corruption charges dropped.
The court on Monday dismissed the applications with costs, saying applications by Magashule and his co-accused are premature and should wait for a trial court.
"The NPA welcomes the judgment and will now focus on ensuring that the pretrial conference is concluded on the next court date so that a trial date can be arranged," said NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga.
"We have always maintained that all the matters raised by the accused should be ventilated by the trial court when the trial proceedings commence. The NPA has full confidence in the strength of its case and will let the evidence speak for itself during the trial."
JUDGMENT | Court dismisses with costs interlocutory applications of all the accused in the Free State asbestos case. The trial must proceed. pic.twitter.com/HE1LEfGSMp— NPASouthAfrica (@NPA_Prosecutes) March 28, 2022
Magashule and the co-accused face over 70 charges, including theft, corruption and money laundering relating to a R255 million tender.
The case dates back to 2014, when the Free State human settlements department awarded a contract worth R255 million to Diamond Hill and Blackhead Consulting.
This was related to assessing asbestos in houses in the Free State, however, the work was never done despite money exchanging hands.
It later emerged only R21 million worth of work – which was outsourced to a company with actual experience in the field – was conducted.
Magashule has maintained he is innocent, and claims the charges against him are politically orchestrated.