Ace Magashule And Painting Heist

An investigation by the Hawks into the alleged
theft of the artwork from the Free State Premier’s office is complete. Potentially, the case places ANC Secretary
General, Ace Magashule, at the centre of a bizarre theft of a Pierneef painting worth
millions of rand. Daily Maverick exposed the alleged theft in
2018. Hawks spokesperson, Captain Lloyd Ramovha,
confirmed to News24 on Wednesday 04 September 2019, that the docket had been handed over
to the National Prosecuting Authority, for a decision to be made on whether to prosecute. No arrests had been made at this stage. The Free State Provincial spokesperson, Phaladi
Shuping, confirmed that the docket had been handed over, but said that no decision on
whether to prosecute had been taken yet. There is no evidence that the Hawks are investigating
Magashule with regards to the case, but he was the Premier of the province when the painting
went missing from that office. Ramovha confirmed that the investigation by
the Hawks concerned the alleged theft of the painting, and no other charges are included
in the docket at this point. However, he said it was up to the National
Prosecuting Authority to decide whether more charges will be added. In October 2018, Daily Maverick’s Scorpio
reported, that a painting by South African painter, JH Pierneef, belonging to the Free
State Provincial Government, had gone missing from the Free State Premier’s Office earlier
that year. The artwork has an estimated value of about
R8 million, according to the publication. The painting was allegedly stolen when Magashule
was still the Premier, although he was on his way out, having been elected as ANC Secretary
General a few months prior. A former member of Magashule’s security,
detail reportedly told Daily Maverick that the painting was mistakenly given to him by
Magashule, as he was helping the former premier clean out his office. He reportedly said this was an “honest mistake”,
and that the artwork was accidentally placed amongst Magashule’s things. However, the painting was allegedly passed
on to a Bloemfontein businessman, who reportedly took it to an auction house to have it valued. The auction house was reportedly concerned
about the painting’s origins, and called in Pierneef experts to try to locate the painting’s
true owner at the time. An image of the painting was reportedly used
by the auction house in an advert, calling for consignments for an upcoming auction. This apparently caught the attention of an
art expert, who alerted the provincial government officials, that one of their paintings might
have been stolen, Daily Maverick reported. The matter was then reported to the Hawks
by the auction house’s law firm. JH Pierneef, was a South African landscape
artist, generally considered to be one of the best of the old South African masters. His distinctive style is widely recognised,
and his work was greatly influenced by the South African landscape. Please check in the description box below,
for the links to the sources of this report. Thanks for watching. Please comment, like, share and subscribe.


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