Follow-up: Ace Magashule granted bail, former PA turns state witness

Picture: @NPASouthAfrica, Twitter

ANC secretary general Ace Magashule has been granted R200 000 bail in Bloemfontein Magistrates’ Court, where he appeared on Friday to face charges of fraud and corruption. His former PA, when he was premier, has now turned state witness.

Magashule – who faces 21 counts – is set to appear in court again on 19 February 2021 after the matter involving seven other co-accused was postponed to be transferred to the Bloemfontein High Court.

In a live broadcast on SABC, Magashule’s Advocate Laurence Hodes told the court that his client cannot afford the R250 000 the State wants for bail.

Hodes said Magashule earns a monthly salary of R133 000 and has moveable assets to the value of R700 000. He said his client can afford R20 000 for bail and has handed his passport to the police.

The State Prosecutor told the court that if the fraud charges relate to R255 million it cannot be disputed that “this is an extremely serious matter” and an appropriate amount R250 000 should be set for bail.

The Prosecutor also confirmed that Magashule’s former PA, Moroadi Cholota, is a state witness and bail conditions should include zero contact with Cholota. The Magistrate then ruled that bail is set at R200 000.