News24

Block not humiliated - supporters

2010-11-10 22:31

Kimberley - Efforts to humiliate Northern Cape ANC leader John Block have "turned to dust", his supporters claimed on Wednesday after the local political leader was granted bail by the Kimberley Magistrate's Court.

Magistrate Lance Roach released Block and co-accused, businessman Gaston Savoi, on conditional bail of R100 000 each.

Delivering judgment, Roach said it was not understandable why the State changed its mind and decided to oppose Block's bail. It could only be speculated that there was either a "political agenda" or "show of force" behind the decision.

Provincial ANC secretary Zamani Saul told about 200 supporters outside court: "The ANC trained us when ANC leaders are challenged we stand up and fight for them."

Block, Savoi and seven others are charged with alleged tender fraud estimated at R112m.

They allegedly bought water purification equipment for Kimberley Hospital from Intaka Holdings, which is owned by Savoi, at inflated prices in 2005 and 2006.

The case was postponed to March 18 2011 for further investigation.

Rented dog

Several regional ANC leaders picked up on Roach's "political agenda" remark during his bail judgment, and proclaimed their support for the provincial party leader.

The National Prosecuting Authority expressed concern about Roach's remarks. It was "worrying" that his comments bordered on the "political", NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said.

"Where he says the (State's) move to oppose bail could either be a political agenda or show of power, which is equally worrying and disturbing." Mhaga said this was not the case.

NPA would study the judgment and prepare accordingly, and expressed hope the two men would stick to their bail conditions.

Earlier, the Northern Cape ANCYL said it wouldn't apologise for its attack on chief prosecutor Menzi Simelane. Simelane, the head of the National Prosecuting Authority, was prosecuting the case against Block and the others himself.

"The ANCYL is standing by its decision and will not apologise to anyone when we defend John Block," Northern Cape league chairman Shadrack Tlhaole told the crowd outside the court.

He said the Youth League had lost confidence in Simelane.

Tlhaole was reacting to a reprimand by the national ANC for calling Simelane a "rented dog of a political conspiracy" following Block's arrest.

The ANC Youth League in the Northern Cape issued a statement on Monday, saying it had "analysed" the charges and concluded there was no prima facie case against Block.

It said the charges were brought by "the private army of Menzi Simelane and others".

Political scores

Reacting to Block's release, Tlhaole said the youth league would not allow people to use state resources to settle "political scores".

"It happened that we have called people by name since Polokwane," he said, referring to the ANC's last elective conference.

Tlhaole said the local ANCYL would continue to raise its dissatisfaction about the matter.

Bail paid, Block proclaimed his innocence to his supporters, and said he would abide by the court's decision. He denied receiving special police treatment while in custody.

"I was told by police to bring a mattress and blanket because they do not have any." Block said he also did not live on take-aways, but ate food prepared at home for him.

The ANC leader, who was also Northern Cape finance, economic development and tourism MEC, also referred to the "show of force" statement made in court.

"There is no way I would run from this case. I'm innocent and will prove it in court."

Block and Savoi's bail conditions included them not being allowed to change their residential addresses without the permission of investigators and the NPA.

They were not allowed to contact State witnesses directly or indirectly.

Comments
  • John Oxley - 2010-11-10 23:48

    More ANC cronyism and downright thievery

  • Faansie - 2010-11-11 06:56

    Let us wait for the outcome of the trail and then come to our own conclusions.

  • mandyandkim - 2010-11-11 07:24

    R112m comes out of our budget and now it sits in their pockets - enough is enough! The guilty patries must be made to pay back every cent with interest!

  • Ockert - 2010-11-11 07:24

    On what basis did Justice Roach deliver his unfounded comment? , how can a supposably responsable man make such strange comments. he should rather define himself to the law and Facts, or does he have an agenda ??

  • Garth - 2010-11-11 10:37

    My previous comment was removed. Does the useless, useless ANC control this site too?

  • SomeLogic - 2010-11-11 11:30

    PUT ALL THIEVES IN JAIL AND THROW AWAY THE KEY. I THINK AFTER THE STRUGGLE AGAINST APARTHEID THE ANC LEADERS LACK IN PURPOSE... OR THEIR NEW PURPOSE IS TO "BRIDGE THE ECONOMIC GAP LEFT BY APARTHEID" BY ENRICHING THEMSELVES THROUGH STEALING FROM THE VERY PEOPLE WHO THE "REAL" ANC LEADERS FAUGHT FOR. I SUGGEST OUR CURRENT LEADERS GET THEMSELVES AN AGENDA AND SOME PURPOSE OTHER THAN CORRUPTION. IT IS TIME THAT WE FORGET APARTHEID AND FOCUS ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF THIS COUNTRY AND ALL IT'S PEOPLE. I'M A ANC SUPPORTER... ASHAMED TO SAY IT AT TIME, BECAUSE THE LEADERSHIP OF THE ANC AND THOSE IN POWER GIVES THE ANC A BAD NAME. I CAN GOVERN THIS COUNTRY - IT'S SIMPLE AND YOU JUST NEED COMMON SENSE AND THE APPROPRIATE SKILLS AROUND YOU. NOT FRIENDS AND CRONIES WHO EARN FAT SALARIES AND ARE NO GOOD TO MAN OR BEAST. I ALSO THINK, IN MY IGNORANCE, THAT THE INTERESTS OF THE PEOPLE MUST BE SET FIRST INSTEAD OF MISGUIDED (STUPID) POLITICAL AGENDAS. IT IS AS SIMPLE AS ALLOCATING MONEY FOR HOUSES AND HAVE THEM BUILT BY THE BEST BUILTER, AS EXAMPLE. NOW WE OVER-COMPLICATE THINGS BY WANTING A KICK-BACK OR WANTING TO ENSURE THAT FRIENDS, FAMILY OR BUSINESS CONTACTS GET THE CONTRACTS. THE CURRENT LEADERSHIP OF THE ANC DOES NOT DESERVE MY VOTE - I'M SORRY TO SAY... YOU ALL ARE A DISGRACE TO THE ANC AND WHAT IT SHOULD STAND FOR. AND MIND YOU - NO ONE IN THE LEADERSHIP WILL BE OFFENDED BY THIS TEXT...THEY JUST DON'T HAVE ANY SHAME... SHAME.

  • Neville - 2010-11-11 17:07

    Once more it was proven that there is an hidden agenda or a price tag on the head of my Leader Cde Block. I wish to express my greatest disgust to people who seek to find joy in Unrighteousness towards innocent people. I am glad the JB(Block) has confirmed that he will prove his innocence in court, and I believe that very firm.

  • obakeng.lencoe370 - 2010-11-12 14:36

    In the past the Youth Legue use to drive policie changes in the ANC.Today the are like an untrained pit-bull redeady to tear anybody apart at the instruction of those who feed it.The state case is against people who stole from the poor by people who claim to be leading and fighting poverty.Why single out Simelane? If the ANC in the province is so convinced about Block's inocence why not witness on his behalf in court.As an ANC member i am really disgusted,we in the province know quite well what John has been up to.Modiri

  • AllHoliday - 2010-11-13 10:15

    Should a judge not stick to the facts at hand? Politics does not belong in the courtroom. Who is having a "political agenda"? Does the state not have the right to opose bail when they know that the person have the means to skip bail? Do they not do it in other cases too? Why bring politics into the matter. This is alarming for the justice system. Will justice be done?

  • pages:
  • 1