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'Ramaphosa influenced 'sinister' corruption charges against Ace Magashule'

by Staff reporter
22 Feb 2022 at 15:45hrs | Views
In arguing there is no validity to the State's case against him, suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule's legal representative claimed on Tuesday his arrest was influenced by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Representing Magashule, advocate Laurence Hodes characterised the case as "politically motivated and unsustainable".

He urged the court not to "condone" the charges and instead dismiss them.

"In a matter that is so obviously politically inspired, Your Ladyship should not uphold the prosecution's clear attempts to be partisan in their prosecution," argued Hodes.

He said the timing of the arrest and prosecution was "extremely sinister".

This was further elaborated on in Magashule's heads of argument in which he stated the "President [Ramaphosa] wields influence throughout the Republic of South Africa, including the NPA [National Prosecuting Authority]".

As such, he argued, "it was only after Ramaphosa's renewed vigour concerning the step-aside rule on about August 2020" that he was suddenly arrested on 3 November 2020.

The embattled secretary-general conceded the allegation of ulterior purpose and political interference motivating his corruption case might appear "shadowy and nebulous" and "inconsistent with the pleaded facts as per his founding affidavit", but there was still merit to concluding Ramaphosa might have influenced the charges.

The heads of argument reiterated it was only after Ramaphosa having expressed a renewed vigour concerning the implementation of the party's step-aside rule that Magashule was arrested.

"This does not appear to be a coincidence," argued Magashule.

Hodes said what was more perplexing was the State made the arrest and hauled his client before the court when it was clearly not ready to prosecute the case with was contrary to the country's laws.

He argued Magashule was never afforded the opportunity to explain the charges against him, which amounted to yet another contravention of his client's rights.

Magashule made the point in his heads of argument it was Ramaphosa who might have pressured the NPA to act against him so as to have a case for him to step aside from the powerful secretary-general position.

Magashule's heads of argument also noted there was "prosecutorial misconduct" in his client's case and it had further concerns he was implicated by another politician, current Free State co-ordinator Mxolisi Dukoana.

"This should raise eyebrows immediately and should demonstrate the political interference," said Hodes.

Prosecutor advocate Naseer Cassim said Magashule and his legal representatives did not properly read the docket and if they did, they would have realised there was a prima facie case against the suspended secretary-general.

Cassim added the buck stopped with Magashule as the premier of the province, and he had to answer as to why a contract for about R20 million ended up costing the province R255 million.

He said Magashule had failed to report a crime.

Judgment was reserved in the case.

Source - news24