…By Roland Peterson for TDPel Media.
The Hawks, South Africa’s elite police unit, have apprehended the former Northern Cape Transport, Roads, and Public Works MEC on charges of fraud.
The suspect, identified as John Block, a former ANC provincial head, was taken into custody at the Upington Correctional Services facility, where he is currently serving a 15-year sentence.
He is expected to make a brief appearance at the Kimberly Magistrates court.
John Block had previously been convicted alongside Christo Scholtz, the director of Teifecta, a company involved in fraudulent activities.
In 2018, they were found guilty of fraud and money laundering related to the leasing of buildings to the Northern Cape social development department.
These buildings were owned by the Trifecta Group. As a result of the conviction, Block was also ordered to pay the state R2 million.
The recent charges against John Block pertain to an alleged fraudulent tender awarded in 2003.
It is claimed that Babereki Consulting Engineers CC, led by director Mr. Tshegolekae Motaung, was illegitimately granted the tender for the construction of the Kimberley Mental Health Hospital.
Block, during his tenure as a political head, and former HOD Ms. Patience Mercia Mokhali, were accused of appointing Babereki Consulting Engineers CC without fulfilling the necessary requirements.
The estimated amount involved in this fraudulent activity is approximately R51 million, according to Hawks Northern Cape spokesperson Nomthandazo Mnisi.
Arrest of Co-Accused
Alongside John Block, Patience Mercia Mokhali and Tshegolekae Motaung were arrested last week in connection with the same case.
They are facing charges of fraud, corruption, money laundering, and contravention of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA).
The two co-accused were granted bail and are scheduled to appear in court again in July.
Other Recent Arrests
In separate news, an ANC councillor has been arrested for the attempted rape of a 12-year-old girl in Mpumalanga, highlighting another troubling incident.
These events add to the increasing number of criminal cases unfolding across the country.