Amongst a flurry of late night media and Twitter activity, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) ‘categorically distanced’ itself that there was an ‘impending’ arrest looming for Ace Magashule.
It was reported that a warrant of arrest had been issued for the ANC’s Secretary General, which would be executed soon.
The news follows a number of high profile arrests by the Hawks in recent days with several state capture suspects being taken into custody for alleged corruption and money laundering, amongst a long list of accusations.
“The (Hawks) view the report as a malicious intent to undermine the integrity of the organisation,” Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said in a short statement.
Magashule, as the former Free State Premier, has featured prominently in many corruption allegations, including the now infamous Vrede Dairy Farm project.
Following the high-profile arrests – including that of a number of Free State officials – there has been significant speculation that he could be next in the Hawks’ firing line.
However no officials charges have been levelled against Magashule, and he was recently cleared by the Public Protector in two matters the office investigated.
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane said her office investigated whether Magashule twice misled the provincial legislature in his written responses to questions from members of the legislature.
The second matter related to the forensic report in connection with the appointment of Letlaka Communications by the Office of the Premier.
Shortly following the now debunked report that Magashule would be arrested, some of his supporters went on the offensive.
The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) in the Free State issued a statement saying it “has observed over time, a carefully choreographed program of using the reactionary media and state organs to isolate certain leaders of the ANC, particularly the Secretary General…
“This programme has all the hallmarks of the period when similar approach was used against the then Deputy President of the ANC, Cde Jacob Zuma.”
Calling it a “nefarious plan,” the ANCYL explained that once the “counter revolutionary media” had tarnished someone’s image, “CIA kind of arrests” took place.
“Furthermore, we wish to place it on record that those who seek to deliver the ANC to their masters who have already pre-ordered it through funding their political campaigns towards their election into political offices, we are watching them and they will never succeed,” the Youth League’s Provincial Secretary, Reagan Booysen, said in the statement.