The Democratic Alliance has called on the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to prosecute ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule for gifting his former bodyguard, Mr Ricardo Mettler, a Pierneef painting with an estimated value of R8 million.
The painting was allegedly given to Mettler as a parting gift when Magashule vacated his office when his term as Free State premier came to an end.
According to a statement issued by the party’s Free State office, “an opportunity has been presented to act decisively and prosecute Ace Magashule and Co on the issue regarding the ‘alleged theft’ of a Pierneef painting from the office of the former Free State premier”.
The statement was issued in response to a confirmation by the Hawks earlier this week that they have completed their investigation into the “alleged theft” of the artwork and the docket has been submitted to the NPA for a decision to be made on whether to prosecute.
“News surfaced in October 2018 that a painting by South African artist JH Pierneef, belonging to the Free State provincial government, was allegedly passed on to a Bloemfontein businessman by Magashule’s former bodyguard who had the artwork valuated at an auction house,” stated the DA.
“Given the NPA’s track record with investigations regarding politicians such as the withdrawal of cases against former MEC’s Mathabo Leeto and Benny Malakoane regarding allegations of corruption in Matjhabeng Municipality and the Vrede Dairy case involving politicians and officials, the DA is concerned that this case involving the former premier and current secretary-general of the ANC could be swept under the carpet,” they added.
The party believes that the NPA now has the opportunity to show South Africans that no-one is above the law.