South Africa News

Ace Magashule’s graft trial finally set to begin in Bloemfontein High Court

It’s D-Day for graft-accused former African National Congress (ANC) Secretary General and Free State Premier Ace Magashule, with his trial finally set to get underway in the High Court in Bloemfontein on Monday.

Magashule is accused alongside 17 others, including controversial businessman Edwin Sodi, of a total of more than 70 counts of fraud, corruption, and money laundering, among others.

The charges relate to a R255 million contract to identify and eradicate asbestos roofing on low-cost houses across Free State.

In 2014, the contract was awarded to a joint venture between Sodi’s locally-based engineering firm, Blackhead Consulting, and a company called Diamond Hill Trading.

Ace Magashule and his co-accused stand allegedly received massive kickbacks for their roles in the scheme, where it’s alleged that little to no work on the contract was ever actually done.

They tried to challenge their prosecution, but the high court dismissed their matter in March 2022.

The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) then followed suit in May 2023, ruling there were “no reasonable prospects of success” on appeal.

The trial has been set down to run for more than two months until 23 June.


In other news – Divorce turns ugly as Lebo M’s wife demands R150 000 spousal maintenance and other funds

The divorce battle has turned ugly between Lion King composer Lebo M, real name Lebohang Morake, and his estranged wife, Pretty Samuels. According to a local publication, Samuels has a list of financial demands that she has tabled at the Johannesburg High Court.

Lebo M And Pretty Samuels

One of Samuels’ demands us allegedly R150 000 in monthly spousal maintenance. The month allegedly includes R23 000 for a car instalment, R5 000 for cellphone, R35 000 for rent or bond, R10 000 per month for holiday allowance, and R6 500 for groceries. Read More