Block’s future not discussed – ANC

The ANC has not discussed the future of its Northern Cape leader John Block, who has been charged with fraud, party spokesperson Jackson Mthembu has said.

Mthembu would not comment on how Block’s position would be affected by a resolution by the ANC’s Mangaung conference on members facing serious criminal charges.

“This is not a Block issue,” he said. “Retrospectively, how far back do you go [in disciplining] ... Where do we draw the line in implementation?” Mthembu asked.

He said making it a “Block issue” would “vulgarise” it.

At its Mangaung conference last year, the ANC resolved that any of its members found guilty of wrongdoing in other institutions of society would be subjected to internal disciplinary processes.

“This will send an unambiguous message in society that the ANC does not tolerate any wrongdoing, including corruption, among its members,” the party resolved.

Mthembu said a team was looking into the issue of whether the resolution could be applied to ANC members who were charged or found guilty before December.

“They are not easy issues. If you do go back, do you go beyond Mangaung? If you do, you must have good reasons,” he said.

Such a decision would affect the party.

The ANC has started implementing the resolution on discipline.

Last month, it called on former Limpopo MEC Miriam Sekgabutla not to participate in party structures after she was arrested on fraud charges.

At the time, Mthembu said: “Those who are facing serious criminal charges should on their own volition ... step aside from participating in any ANC leadership positions and occupying public office pending the outcome of the court proceedings.”

The party has also established an integrity committee, chaired by Rivonia Trialist and former Robben Island prisoner Andrew Mlangeni, in line with its Mangaung resolutions.

Block appeared in the Kimberley Magistrates’ Court today.

The case was postponed to January 31, National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phaladi Shuping said.

Block, Gaston Savoi, Fernando Praderi, Patrick Lenyibi, Frank Mashilo, and Nandipha Madiba are charged with fraud, corruption, and contravening the Municipal Finance Management Act.

The charges relate to alleged irregularities in the acquisition of a water purification plant by the Sol Plaatje municipality in April 2011.

All six have been granted bail of between R2 000 and R15 000.

They allegedly colluded with municipal employees to award a tender to Intaka Holdings for it to supply a water purification plant.

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