ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule arrived at the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court and greeted journalists as he entered the court precinct and complained that “you guys said we must have our day in court, we are waiting on the court, they keep postponing.”
Magashule told reporters that “whatever charges, they are fine.”
“Let the NPA do whatever they want to do, I’m ready for anything.”
Asked whether he had spoken to President Cyril Ramaphosa over what his supporters are alleging is a political prosecution against him, he said: “Why should I speak to the president about a case?”
Magashule’s supporters, wearing yellow ANC T-shirts and some dressed in militant camouflage, arrived by bus overnight and were gathering in the Kings Park Rose Garden where they were singing songs in support of Magashule.
One carried what appeared to be a handgun.
There was a heavy police presence in front of the court, with razor wire rolled out to control the crowds expected to gather there later.
Police choppers also flew overhead.
Three more senior government officials are expected to be added to the list of accused, and the National Prosecuting Authority said it would be adding more charges to the 21 existing ones.
Magashule’s detractors in the Free State said they would not gather ahead of his court appearance as they wanted to adhere to Covid-19 lockdown protocols.