12 November 020.
An arrest warrant has been issued for Magashule in connection with the looting of the equivalent of $13.8 million when he was premier of the Free State province from 2009 until 2018, according to the state South African Broadcasting Corporation. This is the period of the alleged corruption. Magashule is the secretary general of the ANC and so in charge of the day-to-day running of the party that has governed South Africa since the end of the apartheid regime in 1994. Magashule is from a faction within the ruling party that has opposed President Cyril Ramaphosa since he replaced Jacob Zuma as head of state in February 2018.
In August, Ramaphosa said ANC officials must take leave from their positions if charged with corruption, and resign if convicted. However, the policy has not so far been applied by the party. It is not clear whether Magashule would step aside while he is being prosecuted.
It’s alleged that Magashule gave a contract, to audit how many houses in the province still had asbestos roofs, to his close associates. The contract was for $15 million, but only $1.2 million was spent on the audit. This happened during Jacob Zuma’s tenure as president.
President Ramaphosa once said that ANC is the Number 1 corrupt institution in South Africa.
The judicial inquiry, known as the Zondo Commission, is receiving testimony describing significant corruption during former president Jacob Zuma’s tenure, from 2009 to 2018. Zuma has criticised the commission and is facing corruption charges. During Zuma’s time there was corruption at all levels of the government. In June, Ramaphosa ordered that evidence presented at the inquiry could be used by prosecutors. This could lead to potentially hundreds of cases for further action.
There are other corruption scandals in which Magashule was implicated. A large dairy business was to be set up in Free State province to help the farmers there. More than $19 million was allocated to the project. The dairy fund was allegedly looted when Magashule was the leader of the Free State province. The money went to Zuma’s associates.
It is not believed that Ramaphosa has intervened in the move to prosecute Magashule, but this is a welcome boost for his anti-corruption agenda. If Magashule is arrested there will be widespread uprising and there may be even serious efforts to oust Ramaphosa from power.
Eye Witness News reported.