ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule is at the centre of a criminal investigation into the disappearance of a valuable Pierneef painting from the premier’s office in Bloemfontein.

Scorpio can reveal that a painting by South African landscape master JH Pierneef, with an estimated value of up to R8-million, went missing from a safe in the Free State premier’s office earlier in 2018.

The alleged theft occurred during the time that Magashule was vacating his office in the Free State to assume his new role as the ruling party’s Secretary-General.

The painting belongs to the provincial government.

The matter has been reported to the Hawks, and sources familiar with the saga say Magashule is directly implicated in the alleged theft.

Documents pertaining to the matter suggest that a provincial government official removed the painting from a safe in Magashule’s office around the end of February. The official, Ricardo Mettler, was on Magashule’s security detail and is said to be close to the former premier. Read more