Magashule’s former assistant stuck in USA


A decade after a fraudulent tender in the so-called asbestos contract of R255 million was issued by the Free State Department of Human Settlement, Ace Magashule’s former personal assistant was arrested in the USA.

Moroadi Cholota was expected to appear in court there on Monday and the state will begin the extradition process as soon as possible to bring her back to South Africa, where she will appear for her alleged complicity.

At the time, the contract was awarded by the Department of Human Settlements to Blackhead Consulting to audit, assess and then remove asbestos from homes in some of the Free State’s poorest areas. The court proceedings were part of a preliminary hearing in which 18 defendants, including Cholota and Magashule, are charged with fraud and corruption, among other things.

Judge President Cagney Musi also issued a warrant for the arrest of Olly Mlamleli, then MEC of human settlements in the Free State, because she apparently did not attend the hearing due to illness.

The other defendants briefly appeared in the High Court in Bloemfontein.

During this appearance, the court heard that the trial cannot start yet. This is because a company and one of the accused still do not have legal representation and a former MEC and also an accused in the case, Sarah Mlamleli, is still ill and will only be able to appear in court in July this year.

Magashule, Edwin Sodi, Blackhead Consulting and Thabane Zulu earlier brought an application to ask the court to find that a prima facie case cannot lead to a conviction against them. The application was dismissed. Together with Cholota, Nthimotse Mokhesi, Mahlomola Matlakala, Sello Radebe, Kgotso Manyeki, Sarah Mlamleli, Nozipho Molikoe, Albertus Venter, Margaret-Ann Deidericks, and three other companies, 602 Consulting Solutions, Mastertrade 232 and Ori Group, they are accused of fraud , corruption, money laundering and breaching the Public Financial Management Act (PFMA).

The case was adjourned until June 14 for the preliminary hearing. Mojalefa Senokoatsane, spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority in the Free State, says they hope the parties will then agree on a suitable trial date.