Magashule arrest warrant: DA slams Ramaphosa for 'sitting on his hands' over corruption

11 November 2020 - 16:10
By cebelihle bhengu AND Cebelihle Bhengu
The Hawks confirmed ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule is expected to appear in the Bloemfontein high court on Friday.
Image: Simphiwe Nkwali The Hawks confirmed ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule is expected to appear in the Bloemfontein high court on Friday.

The DA has lashed out at President Cyril Ramaphosa for “sitting on his hands” while the opposition party exposes corruption and ensures accountability.

This is according to party leader John Steenhuisen, who on Tuesday welcomed the issuing of an arrest warrant for ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule in connection with the 2014 Free State asbestos project.

Steenhuisen attributed the warrant to Leona Kleynhans, a DA member of the Free State legislature who first reported the matter to the public protector in 2015.

According to Daily Maverick, Kleynhans took action after she was told the Free State department of human settlements planned to splurge the R255m.

Steenhuisen said while this is a win for the DA and South Africans, Ramaphosa must walk the talk.

“It is highly unfortunate that this warrant of arrest has come about as the direct result of the actions of the DA and not President Ramaphosa himself, who has made a number of commitments to dealing decisively with corruption in his party to no avail.”

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Steenhuisen further criticised Ramaphosa for not taking action against Magashule after the publication of Gangster State, an expose about corruption in the Free State during the tenure of Magashule as  provincial premier.

The book by investigative journalist Pieter-Louis Myburgh made damning allegations against Magashule. Myburgh alleged the former premier benefited from the funds set aside for the asbestos project, along with businessman Ignatius Mpambani, who was gunned down in Sandton in 2017.

Steenhuisen accused Ramaphosa of failing to take action.

With the facts staring him directly in the face, Ramaphosa still remained silent, sat on his hands and did nothing. Ramaphosa’s claims to be a corruption fighter are a complete and utter farce.

"It is blatantly evident that justice for our country remains the responsibility of the DA, and we remain committed to rooting out the lecherous corruption committed by the ANC and its cadres which continues to ravage our country,” Steenhuisen said.

The Hawks' Free State spokesperson Capt Lynda Steyn confirmed to SowetanLIVE's sister publication TimesLIVE on Tuesday that a warrant of arrest for Magashule had been issued. He is expected to appear in the Bloemfontein high court on Friday.

Magashule told journalists that as a law-abiding citizen he is not losing sleep over the warrant. He also said the warrant had not reached him.

“If it happens, it happens. I’m not worried at all because I know I have not done anything wrong as a law-abiding citizen of SA,” he said.

TimesLIVE