EDITORIAL: Ace learned from the best
Ace Magashule learnt much from Jacob Zuma in how he dealt with his legal woes; using the media for his benefit is among those lessons
Is the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) about to botch its case against Ace Magashule?
Reports suggest that his former personal assistant Moroadi Cholota had not agreed to become a witness as outlined by the NPA in his bail application on graft charges. Magashule learnt much from Jacob Zuma in how he dealt with his legal woes; using the media for his benefit is among those lessons. The general rule around state witnesses, according to experts, is that if someone does not want to testify for the state, they can be subpoenaed. No agreement is needed. It is when someone is implicated in a crime and the state wants to use their testimony that the person agrees to become a section 204 witness, and potentially receives indemnity for their part in the crime.
Cholota’s complaints in e-mails to the Hawks — indicating that she "did not agree" to being a witness, as reported in City Press — are odd, unless she is implicated in the crime herself.
The political stakes are, once again, so high that there are attempts to muddy the waters and create suspicion that the case is politically motivated. Who can forget the "Bulelani Ngcuka is an apartheid spy" saga during the height of Zuma’s corruption allegations? After all the smoke and mirrors, the spies and the lies, Zuma is having his day in court.
Magashule will too.
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