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Block’s shady money deals exposed

Nov 14 2010 10:11
Elma Kloppers

Johannesburg - Questions abound about controversial Northern Cape politician John Block’s links to a property company that received rental contracts worth hundred of millions from the state.

Sake 24 has proof indicating that in 2006 and 2007 he received hundreds of thousands of rands from the Trifecta property group at the same time that this group clinched rental contracts with a state institution worth R300m.

It has been alleged that no tender procedure was followed in awarding the contracts.

Block is the MEC for finance, economy and tourism in the Northern Cape and chairperson of the ANC in the region.

He spent last week behind bars after being arrested in connection with R770 000 that he allegedly received to pull strings to influence tenders for water purifier tenders in the province.

Last week he was released on bail of R100 000.

Sake24 is in possession of documents in which it is confirmed that for two years between 2006 and 2008 Block received a basic salary of R60 000 a month from the Trifecta property group.

He was not a director in the company, but at that stage chairperson of the ANC in the Northern Cape.

During that time large amounts of money were transferred from the property company into Block’s bank account.

Eyebrows are being raised by the fact that all the rental contracts for office space in the Northern Cape during this period were awarded by the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) to Trifecta’s buildings.

This give rise to the question of whether the normal tender procedure was followed. Various sources in the inner circle, who for obvious reasons wish to remain anonymous, however told Sake24 that the tender procedure had been circumvented and that Block has used his influence to ensure that the tenders were awarded to Trifecta.

Patricia de Lille, MEC for social development in the Western Cape, said Sassa was a public entity regulated by the Public Finance Management Act.

She said Sassa’s office-space requirements did not need to be arranged by the Department of Public Works. The agency has the authority to arrange its own office space, but a tender procedure has to be followed.

Trifecta is 55% owned by the Sarel Breda’s Shosholoza Trust and 45% by Christo Scholtz’s Casee Trust. Breda died in an airplane accident in March last year.

In 2006 and 2007 more than R800 000 was paid into Block’s bank account by Trifecta, the Shosholoza Trust and Dataforce Trading, another Breda company.

-  Sake24

john block


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