Crime / 12 October 2023,07:06am / Staff Writer
Former African National Congress (ANC) Northern Cape leader john Block: image supplied
By Staff Writer: John Block, the former African National Congress (ANC) Northern Cape leader, currently serving a 15-year prison sentence for corruption, money laundering, and fraud, appeared briefly in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court yesterday. Block, 55, implicated in a R51 million tender fraud case, informed the court of his intention to apply for Legal Aid. Also appearing alongside Block were his co-accused, former HOD of his department, Patience Mercia Motaung, 59, and Babereki Consulting Engineers CC and Company Director Tshegolekae Motaung, 59.
The group faces a litany of charges including fraud, money laundering, corruption, and contravention of the Engineering Professions Act. Block, the former MEC of Transport, Roads, and Public Works in the province, began serving his current prison sentence in 2018 after several unsuccessful court appeals. He is currently incarcerated at the Upington Correctional Services.
In August, Block was granted R50,000 bail regarding this latest case. However, he remains in custody due to his previous conviction. The provincial spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Mojalefa Senokoatsane, said the case related to the Kimberley New Mental Hospital.
Senokoatsane explained that in 2003, Babereki Consulting Engineers CC was allegedly fraudulently awarded a tender as a structural, civil engineer, and project manager within the mental health hospital construction project. “The accused, as the political head, and the former HOD Patience Mercia Mokhali, appointed Babereki Consulting Engineers CC whose director is Tshegolekae Motaung, even though the company did not meet the requirements. The actual amount involved is approximately R51 million,” Senokoatsane said.
During the court appearance, Block, who is the second accused in the case, indicated his intention to apply for Legal Aid representation. Meanwhile, Mokhali and Motaung informed the court that they would be represented by a new legal firm going forward. The case has been postponed until February 8, allowing Block, who remains at the Upington Correctional Centre, to apply for Legal Aid.