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‘Charges intended to block my political career’ -Magashule

Judge Soma Naidoo upheld her verdict in the R250 million asbestos tender in which the former Prime Minister of Free State Ace Magashule and his co-defendant wanted the charges against them dropped.

Magashule and his co-defendant questioned the validity of the corruption and fraud charges and urged the charges to be dropped.

Reading from Magashule’s affidavit in his closing arguments, attorney Laurence Hodes accused the state of abuse of power, saying the timing of the charges was “extremely sinister.”

“This is an attempt to suppress my political ascension…my persecution stems from political ulterior motives, as evidenced by transcripts of submitted entries. These allegations have no substance.”

ALSO READAce Magashule asbestos case: R250m contract ‘no small change’ – state

According to Hodes, the state relied on the evidence gathered during the State Capture Commission of Inquiry regarding the controversial asbestos procurement, and chose and chose only parts of the evidence.

“If this prosecution is based on what happened at the commission, why was the… [NPA’s] Research Directorate involved?”

“Now we have a renegade authority within NPA and within the police who are ignoring everything that happened at the Zondo Commission. They made the most of it and went well ahead of the reports the committee had to come up with.”

ALSO READ: NPA Accuses Ace Magashule Of Postponing His Corruption Trial

‘Unforgivable to be partisan’

Previously, state attorney Naseer accused Cassim that: Magashule had a case to answer† He said the “buck stops with Magashule” because he was prime minister at the time the tender was awarded.

“Surely he can explain to his constituency in this county where we know the roads are not paved and children are suffering from sewage spills on the roads…if he can answer why he shouldn’t be held responsible then he has he has a political future.” ‘ he said as Magashule, flanked by his supporters, sat down on the gallery and smiled.

Hodes disagreed with his client’s accusations, which he said came from the evidence presented by the former PA Moroadi Cholota to the Zondo Commission. US-based Cholota was Magashule’s PA in the Free State and was initially a state witness, but changed his mind.

She has since been added to the case as a suspect and faces extradition from the US.

“As things stand, she is a suspect. Things have changed for the sake of justice, right? This is not something you can wish away and ignore.

“This should have hindered their ability to proceed with the process. At a time when the country is heading for elections and decisions are being made, it is unforgivable to be partisan. Submit therefore, my lady, that the petition be granted with expenses, including that of two counselors.”

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