NEWS & ANALYSIS

Charges laid against Ace Magashule under Inquest Act - Roy Jankielsohn

DA FState LO says failure to report a suspicious death to the police is a criminal offence

DA lays charges against Ace Magashule under the Inquest Act

Note to editors: Please find a video attached here, along with soundbites in Englishand Afrikaans

The DA has today laid criminal charges at the Parys SAPS against the former Premier of the Free State, Mr Ace Magashule, under Section 2 of the Inquest Act (No 58 of 1959) for failure to report an alleged murder to the SAPS.

See pictures here and here.

Earlier this year, Magashule alleged that the former Head of Department, Mr Sandile Msibi, died as a result of poisoning. See the affidavit here. Failure to report a suspicious death to the police is a criminal offence.

Magashule made the allegation public at the funeral of Mr Msibi, stating that prior to his death, there was a consideration to obtain the support of former President Jacob Zuma to send him abroad to Russia to receive treatment.

The DA subsequently submitted a written question to the then Premier, asking him whether an autopsy was conducted to identify the cause of death and whether he reported the matter of suspicion of murder to the SAPS for further investigation. Magashule replied that these comments were made at a private event and, as such, are not subject to oversight by the Legislature. We formally objected to the reply in writing to the Speaker of the Legislature, Ms Mamiki Qabathe, to which we have not received a response to date.

In reply to a written question the DA submitted to the Minister of Police, it was disclosed that the alleged murder was not reported, but, considering the seriousness of the matter, that the SAPS has opened an enquiry case docket.

If Mr Msibi is found to indeed have been the victim of fatal poisoning, Magashule would be guilty of obstructing the course of justice by failure to report his suspicions with his supporting evidence to the police. If the investigation finds otherwise, Magashule used the platform of a funeral to grandstand for political purposes and create alarm and dissent within the provincial administration. In both instances it shows the extent of Magashule’s lack of integrity and poor character.

A close ally to Magashule, the late Mr Msibi headed a department that was fraught with nepotism and corruption. It is alleged that he was under investigation by law enforcement agencies at the time of his death and was about to expose his cronies in crime.

Such allegations by the former Premier of the Free State adds to the environment of fear and factional distrust within a government whose employees are still traumatised by the Vrede Dairy Project related murder of Moses Tshake, a former employee of the Department of Agriculture’s finance section who was kidnapped, tortured and murdered allegedly because of his enquiries into this corrupt Gupta-linked project.

Statement issued by Dr Roy Jankielsohn, Leader of the Official Opposition in the Free State Legislature, 17 July 2018