Ace Magashule is officially a wanted man. The ANC veteran has been issued with an arrest warrant from the Hawks – and a court appearance is looming.
Little over a month after Ace Magashule seemingly predicted his own impending arrest, Hawks have issued the ANC Secretary-General with a warrant for his detention on Tuesday. The crime-fighting body’s Free State Spokesperson, Lynda Steyn, confirmed that they have taken a significant step earlier this afternoon:
“A warrant of arrest has been issued, that it was investigated on the asbestos matter from the Hawks Free State, Corruption Unit.”
The ANC bigwig is being brought in for questioning over the infamous R255 million asbestos contract he oversaw while serving as Free State’s Premier. The deal was littered with kickbacks, misappropriations, and suspicious payments. Despite all of this, Magashule is accused of turning a blind eye so his cronies could benefit.
These developments come just a couple of months after President Cyril Ramaphosa vowed to step-up the fight against corruption in South Africa – and the affairs of Ace Magashule may well be a solid starting point. The ANC stalwart was previously wanted for discussions with the party’s Integrity Commission before news of his arrest in October surfaced.
This, however, proved to be a false dawn. Magashule himself claimed that the Hawks were coming to handcuff him – ‘Hollywood style’ – but the heat died down. Some 34 days after the “warrant that wasn’t“, Ace has finally been apprehended. And things could get even more dramatic over the next 72 hours or so.
It’s understood that Mr. Magashule is likely to make a court appearance before the end of the week.
During a by-election event in Soweto earlier this morning, Ace Magashule spoke to the media about ANC leaders who have ‘made mistakes’ during their time with the party. He may have been giving out some cryptic clues, here:
“The ANC is the home of South African people. Whatever mistakes we have made as individuals are not mistakes of the party. Where we have fallen short, we will humble ourselves. Those who are too arrogant to do this are not our leaders.”
Action SA leader Herman Mashaba was amongst the first senior political figures to react to the news. He expressed his ‘cautious optimism’, hoping that this would now be the time that ‘the law caught up’ with Ace Magashule.