Ace Magashule supporters gathered in Bloemfontein ahead of the court appearance of the ANC General Secretary on corruption, theft and money laundering charges.
Magashule, who is on bail of 200,000 rand, will appear in Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court with seven co-defendants on 21 charges of fraud and corruption.
The National Prosecution Authority (NPA) could add charges to Magashule’s role, according to spokesman Sipho Ngwema.
“We wanted to add more charges against Mr. Magashule. We also wanted to add more defendants to the indictment, ”Ngwema told SABC on Friday morning.
State alleges Magashule benefited from illegal payments of more than R 1 million from Diamond Hill Trading for a multi-million Rand asbestos project in the Free State while he was Prime Minister of the province.
Diamond Hill and Blackhead Construction jointly obtained the contract as an unsolicited bid.
The contract, which covered the identification and removal of asbestos roofing, saw R255 million illegally paid to contractors without following proper procurement processes.
Three senior government officials are also scheduled to appear in Bloemfontein Magistrates’ Court on Friday after being arrested by the Priority Crime Investigations Directorate (Hawks) in the multi-million Rand asbestos contract scandal.
Video: Timothy Bernard / African News Agency (ANA)
On Friday morning, buses of ANC supporters converged on Bloemfontein to show their support for Magashule.
A strong police presence could be observed as armored vehicles stood guard in front of the courthouse.
The ANC’s radical economic transformation faction threw its weight behind Magashule, and threatened that there would be dire consequences if convicted.
ANC spokesman Pule Mabe last week warned members who intend to support Magashule in court not to behave in a manner “perceived to undermine the decorum” of the party in the courtroom. power.