South Africa: Lifting the Roof On Free State Asbestos Scam Reveals Luxury Car Purchases

ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule.
analysis

One year after former Free State MEC Mxolisi Dukwana slammed former Free State premier Ace Magashule as a 'blesser of many' over an 'asbestos heist' in the province, the State Capture inquiry resumed hearings on the project. On Tuesday 4 August the evidence leader detailed investigators' discoveries. They include cash flows from Blackhead Consulting to a car dealership and attorney's trust.

State Capture inquiry investigators have identified payments for luxury cars and property stemming from government funds for a tender meant to eradicate hazardous asbestos in the Free State.

The price of the asbestos project was grossly inflated and, worst of all, completely failed to remove asbestos from Free State communities. Inquiry chairperson, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, reacted to the vast difference between the actual cost of the (deficient) audit and the final price tag. The public protector, advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane, released findings from her probe into the fraud in May.

The asbestos survey conducted in the Free State merely assessed the presence of fibrous material in roofs, but the carcinogenic insulator can reach water pipes and other building features. While the Blackhead Diamond Hill joint venture won the tender, the actual work was sent down a tier of...

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