John Block needs to report to jail as Constitutional Court dismisses appeal

20 November 2018 - 11:32
By Ernest Mabuza
File image of John Block
Image: Tsheko Kabasia File image of John Block

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on Tuesday welcomed the decision by the Constitutional Court dismissing the appeal by former ANC Northern Cape chairman John Block and businessman Christo Scholtz.

This means the two men have less than a week before they have to report to jail.

On Monday, the highest court in the land said their application bore no prospects of success.

NPA Northern Cape spokesman Phaladi Shuping said the role of the NPA had ended in this case.

“It is now up to the registrar of the high court in Kimberley to issue detention warrants,” Shuping said.

He said the warrants would be sent to their lawyers.

Shuping said once their lawyers had been informed, the two men will be given between two and five days to present themselves to the authorities.

“We are pleased with the decision of the Constitutional Court. From the start of the trial, we said the accused had a case to answer. This was confirmed by the Supreme Court of Appeal and now by the Constitutional Court,” Shuping said.

In August, the Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed the appeals by Block and Scholtz against their convictions and 15-year jail sentence for corruption.

The charges on which Block and Scholtz were convicted arose from lease agreements from May 2006 to August 2008 between various state entities and departments in the Northern Cape and members of what became known as the Trifecta Group of Companies.

Scholtz‚ a businessman from Pretoria who was engaged in the private equity business‚ came into contact with Sarel Breda‚ with whom he identified business prospects in the Northern Cape.

The high court in Kimberley held that Block‚ then a senior politician in the province‚ had corruptly used his influence to ensure that Breda and his companies obtained some of the leases. They were concluded with the state without the necessary statutory protocols and procedures being followed.

Block‚ in return‚ was paid substantial gratifications‚ including two sums of R228‚000 and R500‚000.

Scholtz and Block were convicted of corruption by the high court and each sentenced to 15 years. They were eventually granted leave to appeal against their convictions and sentences.