Northern Cape ANC has expressed shock and devastation over the 15-year prison term handed to its comrade, John Block by the Kimberley High Court.
The former Northern Cape Finance MEC and co-accused Christo Scholtz, a director at Trifecta Investment Holdings, were found guilty of corruption and money laundering relating to the inflation of rates for building leases to the provincial government.
Block received kickbacks after he used his political position to secure lease tenders for Trifecta at exorbitant prices in 2005
As such, the former MEC and his business associate were both sentenced to serve 15 years imprisonment.
Reacting, the Northern Cape ANC indicated their support for Block. The party’s secretary in the province, Zamani Saul reportedly said:
“We are quite shocked and devastated. We support his bid to appeal both his conviction and sentence.”
Similarly, the ANC Youth League in the province pledged its support for Block’s decision to appeal Kimberley High Court rule saying another court will come to a different conclusion.
“As the youth league we are supporting John, we will continue to support John. We have urged him to appeal this thing.
“Actually, we have been impatient because the sentencing took long.
“…Justice delayed is justice denied. The fact is even after he was found guilty he was subjected to emotional torture where sentencing was postponed and postponed,” Neo Maneng stated on behalf of the provincial youth league.
Maneng also praised Block’s leadership in the province.
“Whether he is in prison or not, you cannot talk about the ANC in this province without mentioning John Block,” he said. “…The fact of the matter is that John has built the ANC in this province and has put the ANC on the map. He has led the ANC with dignity during his time.
“Of all provinces nationally this was the most stable and united province. And already since he has left we are seeing signs of disunity because he is not there to provide leadership,” Maneng asserted.
Aside the 15-year prison term, a forfeiture order of R2 million was made against Block, while a R53 million confiscation was made against Scholtz and Trifecta.
Hawks National Head, Lieutenant General Mthandazo Ntlemeza welcomed the Kimberley High Court judgment and praised Hawks members for conducting good investigation on the issue.
“We hope that this will serve as a deterrent to all corrupt civil servants and that it is also indicative of the excellent relationship between the Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority,” Ntlemeza stated.