N Cape opposition stay away in protest

2013-05-23 17:01
From left, Northern Cape ANC Social Development MEC Alvin Botes, provincial chairperson and Finance MEC John Block and MP Yolanda Botha. (File: City Press)

From left, Northern Cape ANC Social Development MEC Alvin Botes, provincial chairperson and Finance MEC John Block and MP Yolanda Botha. (File: City Press)

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Bloemfontein - Two Northern Cape opposition parties have stayed away from a provincial budget sitting in Kimberley because it was being attended by two MECs accused of fraud.

The MEC’s continued presence in the legislature and the protection given to them to continue their work as though nothing had happened was an affront to justice, said Democratic Alliance caucus leader Karen de Kock.

"It makes a mockery of our democratic principles," she said.

Social Development MEC Alvin Botes was delivering a budget speech for the very department he allegedly defrauded, said De Kock.

Botes, ANC provincial chairperson and Finance MEC John Block, and provincial ANC heavyweight Yolanda Botha, face charges of alleged fraud involving the Trifecta Group.

Prosecutors allege they were involved in a number of lease agreements with the provincial department of social development in which the rentals, or rental space, were grossly inflated.

The case would be back in court in August.

The DA and Congress of the People stayed away from the sitting.

"It is a mockery of our hard-earned democratic rights to see a man facing serious charges present the budget of the department he allegedly stole from," Cope member Pakes Dikgetsi said.

Legislature spokesperson Mpho Masina said the debate on the social development budget continued despite the parties' absence.

She said the budget speech of the finance and economic development department, which Block would deliver, would continue on Friday morning.

Cope and the DA indicated they would stay away from Block’s presentation and debate.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  cope  |  alvin botes  |  yolanda botha  |  john block  |  kimberley  |  local government  |  politics

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