John Block innocent until proven guilty – ANC

Embattled Northern Cape ANC leader John Block remains innocent until proven otherwise, the ANC has said.

“The ANC will not allow itself to be pushed to take action on any matter, based on allegations,” said African National Congress Northern Cape spokeswoman Gail Parker.

She said the party believed in the principle of innocent until proven guilty and this counted for Block, who faces criminal charges in court.

Last week, the Northern Cape High Court granted the Asset Forfeiture Unit a forfeiture order against property owned by Block to the value of R5.85 million.

The forfeiture included 25 ordinary shares in Trifecta Resources and Exploration, given to him on September 8, 2006.

It also included the amount of R349 919, which was the value of renovations made by the Trifecta Group to a guest house belonging to Block in Upington.

NPA Northern Cape spokeswoman Mashudu Malabi said Block did not oppose Friday’s application.

He was arrested by the Hawks with two other provincial ANC heavyweights Yolanda Botha and Alvin Botes earlier this year.

The case goes to court again in October 2013.

The NPA alleges the Trifecta Group entered into a number of lease agreements with the Northern Cape department of social development in which the rentals, or rental space, were grossly inflated.

As a result, the Trifecta Group received or would receive, at the end of the lease agreements, rentals of R57 million.

Friday’s order forms part of a series of freezing orders obtained by the AFU in the Trifecta matter against a number of Northern Cape politicians and officials in the department of social development.

Malabi said the case was part of the ongoing work of the Anti-Corruption Task Team (ACTT) set up by the Cabinet in July 2010.

It was set up to deal more effectively with large corruption investigations.

Parker said the ANC respected the work done by law enforcement agencies.

She said no one in the ANC was untouchable.

“Comrade John Block is a humble man, who is liked by the people of the province,” she said.

Parker said the ANC would nevertheless not stop taking action against anyone who was found guilty of wrongdoing in the party.

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