- Ace Magashule has been arrested and appeared in court for the first time on Friday
- The ANC Secretary-General is facing multiple charges for his alleged involvement in a Free State tender scandal
- Magashule's bail was set at a staggering R200 000 during his appearance in Bloemfontein
Ace Magashule handed himself over to the Hawks this morning, where he was placed under arrest as his supporters gathered outside to show their loyalty to the top ANC official.
The ANC Secretary-General was processed before heading to the Bloemfontein Magistrate's Court to be formally charged.
Magashule is now facing multiple charges including fraud, corruption and money laundering.
The state had placed it on record that the charges are all schedule five, pointing out that Magashule needed to satisfy the court that it is in the interest of justice to permit his release is on bail.
Magashule's attorney pointed out that his client had cooperated at all times with the investigation against him since the warrant of arrest was issued.
While Magashule's legal council placed on record that his client could only afford R20 000 bail, with his assets exceed R700 000 with no immovable assets (such as property), bail was set much higher.
The Magistrate had highlighted how Magashule had not been brought into court in shackles, unlike other accused citizens, and the state had agreed that the ANC politician had cooperated.
However, the state had called for R200 000 bail instead of the R20 000 suggested by the defence, despite agreeing that Magashule would not pose a flight risk.
The state had also called for a bail condition to be fixed barring Magashule from contacting his former personal assistant, who is now a witness for the state. The matter has been postponed to 19 February.
Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that hundreds of supporters clad in ANC attire have gathered outside the court in Bloemfontein.
Among those showing support for Magashule is former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo, ANC NEC member Tony Yengeni and MKMVA Spokesperson Carl Niehaus.
Twitter is abuzz with videos of the unrest outside the court. Supporters of Magashule are chanting and singing as they try to make their way into the court.
A video showing supporters attempting to break the barbed wire fence surrounding the court has also been shared to social media.
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