Jailed former ANC bigwig John Block gets bail for tender fraud

John Fikile Block, the former MEC for transport, roads and public works in Northern Cape, was on Tuesday granted R50 000 bail by the Kimberley district court. 

The 55-year-old, together with his co-accused and former head of department Patience Mokhali, allegedly fraudulently awarded a tender for the construction of a mental health hospital in 2003.

According to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), a company called Babereki Consulting Engineers was appointed by Block and Mokhali as structural, civil engineer, and project manager for the project that cost about R51-million.

NPA spokesperson Mojalefa Senokoatsane said the company was appointed regardless of its failure to meet the requirements.

“The accused has been granted bail of R50 000 in this schedule five matter and in the interest of justice, the state did not oppose bail,” said Senokoatsane.

Block, who is accused number two in the matter, is currently serving a 15-year jail sentence at Upington Correctional Services for corruption and money-laundering.

He returns to court on August 10 where he will join Mokhali and Tshegolekae Motaung virtually.

It was Block’s second appearance in the latest matter. At the end of May, he appeared alone in the Upington district court.

Block became a member of the provincial legislature in Northern Cape in 1994.

In 1999, he was appointed MEC for transport, roads and public works in the province, in which capacity he served until 2004 when he became MEC for finance, economic development and tourism.

In October 2015, Block was found guilty of fraud, corruption and money-laundering by the high court in Northern Cape.

He subsequently resigned as ANC chairperson in Northern Cape and as MEC.


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