Ace Magshule supporters come out in numbers at the Bloemfontein magistrates court on November 13 2020. Picture:SUNDAY TIMES/THAPELO MOREBUDI
Ace Magshule supporters come out in numbers at the Bloemfontein magistrates court on November 13 2020. Picture:SUNDAY TIMES/THAPELO MOREBUDI

Several senior ANC leaders found themselves in the middle of a brawl between the police and secretary-general Ace Magashule’s supporters outside the Bloemfontein magistrate’s court on Friday, where he is expected to appear on charges of corruption.

This comes after the police refused ANC heavyweights including Tony Yengeni, Supra Mahumapelo and Joe Maswanganyi entry into the courts.

Supporters of Magashule, dubbed the “radical economic transformation” faction, got into a tussle with police officers, demanding that the trio be allowed into the court building.

Magashule was expected to appear in court after being served, on Tuesday, with a warrant of arrest in relation to alleged corruption on a R255m asbestos tender awarded to the now on bail businessman Edwin Sodi in 2014.

“This is our leadership. Let the leadership in. You get paid because of the ANC. Let them in,” the supporters shouted as they pushed the gates.

Public Order Policing officers proceeded to form a human shield, pushing the supporters away from the gate.

Mahumapelo tried to call for calm but the agitated supporters did not heed his call and continue to push and shove the police.

An estimated 1,000 ANC members have descended on Bloemfontein in support of Magashule. They say they believe the charges he is facing are politically motivated and that he is innocent.

DA Free State leader in the provincial legislature, Roy Jankielsohn, said he was attacked by a mob of “intoxicated” ANC supporters outside the court.

“We are at the regional court to support the justice system and ensure that the wheels of justice for Ace Magashule are turning.

“While we were waiting outside court, a group of ANC members who were intoxicated, you could smell the alcohol and cannabis on them, dragged me around and kicked me.

“I don’t know who the individuals were, so I can only open a case once there is photographic [evidence] or video available,” he said.

Additional reporting by Iavan Pijoos

TimesLIVE

This is a developing story.

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule was released on bail of R200,000 after he made his first appearance in a packed Bloemfontein magistrate's court on November 13 2020 to face charges of fraud, corruption and money laundering. Hundreds of supporters gathered outside the court in support of Magashule.

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