Magashule’s personal assistant Moroadi Cholota arrested in the US, due to be extradited

Ace Magashule in the Bloemfontein High Court on Monday. Picture: NPA

Ace Magashule in the Bloemfontein High Court on Monday. Picture: NPA

Published Apr 15, 2024


Ace Magashule’s former personal assistant has been arrested in the United States of America and was due to appear in court on Monday.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) confirmed that Moroadi Cholota, was arrested by authorities in America, adding that the state will commence with the extradition process as soon as possible, to have her back in South Africa.

Magashule together with his co-accused which include the likes of Edwin Sodi face charges of corruption and fraud relating to the Free State R255 million asbestos contract.

It is alleged the Free State Department of Human Settlement awarded the contract to the Blackhead Consulting joint venture, to audit, assess and remove asbestos from homes in some of the Free State’s poorest areas, about six years ago.

The trial was due to start in the Bloemfontein High Court on Monday.

However, the NPA said the Judge President of the Free State, presiding over the matter, was informed that the trial was not going to commence as planned due to certain circumstances.

NPA spokesperson Mojalefa Senokoatsane said the reasons for the delay included that accused 5, which is a company, still did not have legal representation.

“The second reason was that Sarah Mlamleli, former Member of the Executive Council (MEC) could not be in court as she was still sick and will only be able to be in court in July 2024.”

The NPA said an earlier application by Magashule, Edwin Sodi, Blackhead Consulting and Thabane Zulu, asking the High Court to find that there was no prima facie case that could sustain a successful prosecution against them, was dismissed by the court.

“They have all been charged, together with Nthimotse Mokhesi, Mahlomola Matlakala, Sello Radebe, Kgotso Manyeki, Sarah Mlamleli, Nozipho Molikoe, Albertus Venter, Moroadi Cholota, Margaret-Ann Deidericks, and three other companies, 602 Consulting Solutions, Mastertrade 232 and Ori Group, with fraud, corruption, money laundering and the contravention of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA).”

The matter has been postponed to June 14 for a pre-trial conference.

“The NPA is hopeful it will lead to parties (prosecution and defence) agreeing on a suitable date for the trial to commence,” concluded Senokoatsane.

Magashule is out on R200,000 bail, which was extended.

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