Premier attends Block bail hearing

2010-11-09 11:37
Kimberley – Northern Cape Premier Hazel Jenkins has shown up at the bail hearing of John Block in the Kimberley Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

The hearing has been adjourned until 14:00 .

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head Menzi Simelane, who was appearing for the State, told the court that new affidavits had been handed over to the defence counsel.

Block was set to apply for bail alongside businessman Gaston Savoi following their arrest on tender fraud charges worth R112m on Thursday.

Jeremy Muller, defence council for Savoi, confirmed that they received several affidavits from the State and that they were busy going through them.

It would be best if the court adjourned until 14:00 for them to study the documents, Muller said.

Block's lawyer, Moss Mphaga, also confirmed receiving the affidavits and said they would be ready by 14:00 to continue with the bail application.

The court was adjourned.

Premier in attendance

Jenkins and several provincial MECs were in attendance, with Jenkins sitting in the public gallery wedged between Block's wife and his mother.

Outside court, local ANC Youth League members wore black t-shirts with the words "Hands off John Block" printed next to the ANC logo.

Block, who failed last week in two high court bids to get bail, was arrested with eight others, including Savoi, who is the owner of Intaka Holdings.

The tender fraud allegations against them relate to the purchase of water purification equipment from Intaka at allegedly inflated prices in 2005 and 2006.

The nine were charged with fraud, corruption, money laundering under the Public Finance Management Act.

Seven of the accused were granted bail on Thursday but Block and Savoi were ordered to remain in custody until Tuesday.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said there was a possibility further charges could be brought against Block, who is a director in Intaka and the Northern Cape MEC for finance, economic development and tourism.

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