Suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has levelled serious accusations against the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), including a claim that the State is colluding with the FBI and his former personal assistant, Moroadi Cholota – a key witness in the trial.
“My fear is that they may even threaten and force Cholota to write a false statement. But because I know I haven’t done anything, I’m not worried whether Cholota is a State witness or not a State witness because there is no cent I’ve taken from the government. In criminal law, there is no [such] charge as an oversight [failure],” he said outside of court on Wednesday.
But the NPA has vehemently denied the allegations and says it will prove Magashule wrong in court.
Its spokesperson, Mthunzi Mhaga, said: “There is no truth in his allegations, and they will be proved false during trial. We will present a formidable case against all accused. We are guided by evidence.”
On Wednesday, the Free State High Court postponed Magashule’s graft trial to 19 October.
He is facing corruption, fraud, and money laundering charges related to an asbestos contract which was issued while he was the premier of the Free State.
A disgruntled Magashule believes the delays are a “well-calculated deliberate move” to keep him in court and away from his position of power in the ANC.
However, in a separate case in May in which Magashule is challenging his suspension from the party, ANC officials told the court that the charges against Magashule were serious.
Magashule denounced the idea that he had no support and that he was losing his grip of power in the Free State.
“I hear I have no support here in the Free State. Anywhere, open the country, you’ll see miracles. Because I’m not a product of anybody, I’m a product of the masses of the people – in South Africa, not just the Free State,” he added.
Magashule emphasised that it was absurd that other politicians who had allegedly received money through corrupt means and were part of the ANC were not charged.
“The truth will prevail; our people will know that Magashule didn’t take a cent. But it’ just propaganda to tarnish my image because they want to capture the ANC. That’s the intention. Magashule must not come back, we must do certain things quickly. By the time he comes back, things have been done,” he said.