- The arrest warrant against Ace Magashule was issued by the country’s special police investigation unit, the "Hawks."
- The ANC said in a statement that the party had been informed by the media about the order of detention of its secretary-general.
- Allegations of corruption scandals on senior officials in South Africa aren’t a new phenomenon.
Ace Magashule, the secretary-general of South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), was slammed with an arrest warrant on Tuesday for alleged involvement in corruption. The announcement was made by South African prosecutors, who were investigating high corruption in the country.
The arrest warrant against Ace Magashule was issued by the country’s special police investigation unit, the “Hawks,” as part of a South African prosecutor’s investigation into a controversial public works tender.
This was owing to Magashule’s alleged role in a $15m contract to find and remove asbestos from homes in disadvantaged neighborhoods in the Free State province.
Police spokesman Lynda Steyn made this explanation, as quoted by the country’s local media. The senior political figure of the ANC, and former governor of the ruling party in the province of the Free State, in the interior of the country, is expected to appear in court on Friday.
At least eight individuals, including senior officials from the government of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who also chairs the ANC, have been detained on accusations of fraud and corruption since October, in the context of the ongoing police investigation in the said province.
The suspects are on parole, with the principal accused paying bail of 500,000 rand (€27,000) to South African courts, according to the press.The African National Congress, in power since 1994, said in a statement that the party had been informed by the media about the order of detention of its secretary-general.
“This afternoon, [the] secretary general advised the movement that he will be in consultation with his legal team to best respond to the latest developments and to guide any response in the matter,” Mabe said.
Mabe elaborated that “the ANC will be monitoring these developments closely and will accordingly communicate on any update should the need arise.”
Mabe also disclosed that the embattled Magashule had previously hinted on his imminent arrest, and had thus instructed his legal team to establish the validity of such a warrant with the relevant authorities.
The embattled secretary general has however stated that he isn’t worried at all. “If it happens, it will happen, so I’m not worried at all,” he is heard saying in one of the trending videos as journalists fielded questions in regard to his arrest warrant.
Allegations of corruption scandals on senior officials in South Africa aren’t a new phenomenon.
The country’s former President, Jacob Zuma, who led the country between 2009 and 2018, was pressured by the ruling party to step aside before ending his term after multiple corruption-related scandals.
One of these was for involvement in allegedly fraudulent operations in favor of a public arms procurement contract of more than $2 billion in 1999, when he was Vice President of the Republic.
The case has been going on in South African justice for 17 years since 2003, with Zuma insisting that he is innocent and linking the case to politics.