Politics/04 May 2022, 17:45pm/ Thabiso Ndobo
Former Free State Premier Ace Magashule: image supplied.
Bloemfontein: The state capture commission‘s fourth report, released on Friday last week, has made no recommendations against Former Free State Premier and now suspended ANC secretary general, Ace Magashule.
Magashule is currently facing charges of corruption, theft and money laundering alongside 15 co-accused for their roles in the asbestos contract.
“After the investigation and hearing of evidence, it has become clear that this project was a debacle, hence the title of this chapter, The Free State R1bn Housing Project Debacle, because of the manner in which the provincial government, through the Department of Human Settlement handles the matter.” State capture chair, Raymond Zondo, said in a report
According to the report, after the Free State Department of human Settlement had spent more than R500 Million, there were no houses that had been built for the poor people for whom the Provincial department was rewired to build low cost houses or there were so few houses built compared to those that were supposed to have been built that are not worth mentioning.
“Mosebenzi Zwane failed dismally to provide proper leadership in the Provincial Department of Human Settlement with regard to the project”
Instead of taking serious measures after the dismal failure of the project, Magashule shifted Zwane to another portfolio, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, where he continued to show his dismal performance which resulted in the Estina/Vrede Dairy Farm debacle.
The report recommended that all steps be taken to recover the money paid to Blackhead Consulting/Diamond Hill Joint Venture without following proper processes.
It is recommended that the law enforcement agencies should conduct further investigations to determine whether to charge officials of the Free State Department of Human settlement with fraud.
The joint venture was not qualified to do the job and made “misrepresentation of its qualifications, skills, expertise and experience required for the job”.
The report concluded that “the Premier should have monitored and supervised his MEC‘s so he can intervene when they are failing as his duty is to supervise. Therefore he should have been held accountable for failing to take appropriate and effective measures”
The opposition party, Democratic Alliance (DA) has welcomed the report into State Capture and is pleased with the findings against senior politicians.
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