Block keeps spot in Northern Cape govt

2013-06-05 13:04
John Block (Emile Hendricks, Beeld)

John Block (Emile Hendricks, Beeld)

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Bloemfontein - The Northern Cape's embattled ANC chairperson John Block remains a member of new Premier Sylvia Lucas's reshuffled provincial executive, it emerged on Wednesday.

Block faces charges of racketeering and fraud related to allegations that Northern Cape government departments purchased water purification equipment at inflated prices in 2005 and 2006.

The matter will be back in court on 31 January 2014.

In a separate case, he faces charges of fraud and corruption involving rental and lease contracts property company Trifecta signed with the Northern Cape social development department.

Also retained in the new provincial government leadership committee is former social development MEC Alvin Botes. Botes faces fraud charges with Block in the Trifecta matter.

In the new provincial executive, Block remains treasury, economic development, and tourism MEC. Botes was moved from social development to become co-operative governance, housing, and traditional affairs (COGHTA) MEC.

New speaker

The rest of the new government executive is: health MEC Mxolisi Sokatsha; education MEC Crizelda Cjiekella; agriculture, land reform, and rural development MEC Norman Shushu; social development MEC Tiny Chotelo; transport, safety, and liaison MEC Ntsikelelo Jack; roads and public works MEC David Rooi; environment and nature conservation MEC Patrick Mabilo; and sport, arts, and culture MEC Pauline Williams.

Former COGHTA MEC, Kenneth Mmoeimang, was made speaker of the Northern Cape legislature.
Chotelo and Jack are new to the provincial executive. They were sworn in on Tuesday.

Northern Cape Congress of the People leader Fred Wyngaard said the reshuffle was simply a move to benefit the politically connected elite in the province.

"Rather than deriving her mandate from the Constitution, the premier sought to appease the ANC's PEC [provincial executive committee]," said Wyngaard.

He said the reshuffle would have no positive impact on service delivery in the province.

The Democratic Alliance also criticised the newly elected premier's failure to remove Block and Botes from her executive.

"[It is] a sign of her weak leadership," said DA provincial leader Andrew Louw.
Read more on:    da  |  john block  |  alvin botes  |  kimberley

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