ANC's Block in tender fraud arrest

2010-11-04 15:09

Kimberley - African National Congress Northern Cape chairperson John Block was among eight people arrested by the Hawks on Thursday for alleged tender fraud related to the purchase of water purifiers and oxygen generators for the Kimberley Hospital.

The eight, believed to include a senior Kimberley Hospital manager, were implicated in a R200m corruption case that had already seen eight people arrested in KwaZulu-Natal.

The home of Block, who is also Northern Cape finance, economic development and tourism MEC, was raided by the Hawks a year ago. Several documents were seized at the time.

The investigation was linked to the awarding of multi-million-rand contracts to Intaka, a Cape Town company in which Block holds a directorship with Kimberley businessman Gaston Savoi.

Savoi's company allegedly sold equipment to the two provinces' health departments at inflated prices, and allegedly paid commissions worth millions to the officials involved.

No proper tender procedures were allegedly followed.

The KwaZulu-Natal health department had spent more than R44m on water purification plants found to be empty and in disrepair.

The Northern Cape health department had paid more than R112m for water purification plants and oxygen generators from Intaka.

Earlier this year the Hawks said KwaZulu-Natal premier Zweli Mkhize was a potential witness in the case as he had previously been the political head of the province's health department.

Indications were that officials in the Northern Cape had received more than R13m in "commissions".

The Asset Forfeiture Unit and the Hawks in August arrested eight people including KwaZulu-Natal health department head Dr Busi Nyembezi, the department's former procurement officer Mdu Ntshangase, and chief financial officer Sipho Buthelezi, as well as Savoi, a Uruguayan national, in connection with the alleged fraud.

Among the assets seized during the KwaZulu-Natal arrests was a Learjet, a Maserati, a Ferrari and the Shamwari Game Lodge in the Eastern Cape.

The accused face charges of fraud, corruption, money laundering and charges under the Public Finance Management Act.

The eight arrested in the Northern Cape on Thursday were expected to face similar charges when they appeared in court on Thursday afternoon.

  • Nick - 2010-11-04 15:30

    Again...and I thought we were a bit harsh on the ANC!

  • ae - 2010-11-04 15:35

    It is the small fry, the rats and nice, but it is a start. Hopefully the anti-corruption net will catch some of the big ones too.

  • Concerned Citizen - 2010-11-04 15:40

    i am encouraged by the urgency in which the corrupt people are being dealt with. now i have faith in what the president is advocating.

  • DeonL - 2010-11-04 15:46

    Too many people are trying to make a fast back with theft and corruption, I hope they each get 30 years in jail and don't become president! Tony Y next in line for jail!

  • Dan - 2010-11-04 15:51

    I like it when it all comes together. Take them all out. All the cokroaches that is hidding. Remember this you can run but you can't hide behind the ANC.

  • courts - 2010-11-04 15:51

    Yet again the African National Corruption party is showing it's true colours, I wonder what will happen to the these people? Most propbably nothing. I f the MAJORITY will open theirs closed eyes we might be able to get them out of government!! Wake up people it's your maoney being stolen here.

  • Spyker - 2010-11-04 16:00

    Our democracy is a joke.

      Gen - 2011-04-10 13:47

      Northern African countries have overthrown their Governments and will soon need Constiutions of their own. We have been told how good our's is, maybe we can give it to them, seeing our Government don't know how to use our's.

  • jfky - 2010-11-04 16:03

    ANC cadres...what more can we say? This is one big corrupt family that wants to control this country. The voters should get rid of them very soon or our moral values will go down the drain.

  • Bob - 2010-11-04 16:05

    If the Hawks carry on like this they will endup like the Scorpions and find themselfs disbanded!!!!!!

  • Aap - 2010-11-04 16:06

    Whats new anc = Corruption

  • Raj - 2010-11-04 16:07

    What is with the title of this story????

  • Os - 2010-11-04 16:19

    oh hell does this mean that the whole of the ANC might find themselves coughing up in some way or other

  • vann - 2010-11-04 16:33

    Makes you think that all this talk to stop corruption by Zuma is again, bullshit.

  • webb - 2010-11-04 16:34

    It's hardly news anymore - another corrupt ANC cadre. He'll probably be suspended for 2 years on full pay and "redeployed" to loot another department once the heat has died down - and the President talks about seriously tackling corruption when his own ruling party is corrupt, incompetent and arrogant. What a pathetic joke

  • Vee - 2010-11-04 16:35

    I think we should give the hawks a thumbs up because it shows they are independant, John Block was alleged to be a "BIG ZUMA SUPPORTER" and that doesnt make him above the law, so why cant we @least see that the government is working than forever lamenting, good or bad makes not difference to some because they could not get their hands on the money hence so bitter

  • GaryU - 2010-11-04 16:51

    I think they should publish photos of these tenderpreneurs so we can e-mail them around the country.

  • @ All - 2010-11-04 16:55

    The problem is, that the business men in the corruption will go to jail and the government officials will go free as usual, remember Julius, Zuma, Shabier and many more.

  • senkie3 - 2010-11-04 16:57

    story of my life.Are'nt we all surprised.Reading news in South Africa is just deppressing.

  • Democracy Watcher - 2010-11-04 17:15

    Defeating corruption starts at the top. This is impossible as: - The ruling political party gets rid of the president who fires the deputy president for ties to corrupt Shabir Shaik - The fired deputy president becomes president! - The new president shuts down the organisation investigating him and creates his own. - The new investigators drop the fraud charges - The arms deal probe is dropped - The media tribunal is introduced - Crime by policeman sky rocket - Tender fraud is a daily occurence - Hate speech is supported by the ruling party - White farmers are murdered more often than zimbabwian farms under Robert Mugabe I hope South Africans like the country of Sudan. We are about 20 years away if we dont grow a moral backbone!

      Gen - 2011-04-10 14:18

      It is genetically impossible for the ANC to grow a backbone of any kind.

  • Papa - 2010-11-04 18:15

    The talk to stop corruption is genuine if those who committ such acts are arrested irrespective of political affiliation or perceived support for the president. The arrest of powerful politicians is an indication that President Zuma is serious about his promise to allow the law to deal with rotten politicians. You cannot stop corruption through wishful thinking, corruption, like any other crime is as old as human existence here on earth, therefore if one committs such an act they must be arrested. I do not for once believe that we are capable of stopping it, but we can discourage people if they know that no matter how smart they are, they will get arrested and face the full might of the law. So far that promise is being kept because Block and others have been arrested. Corruption is not an ANC problem but societal problem, it is a very simplistic approach to blame the ANC whereas in Cape Town, the mayor and some of his councillors have been blowing millions of "fact finding missions" in China, USA, Germany etc. When President Zuma goes to China, the DA and their palls in the media cried that the ANC "Chinafying South Africa", yet Dan Platto spent 20 Days there. Hypcrites!

  • Hanti - 2010-11-04 18:23

    As the Scorpions the Hawks is also playing a ping pong game. Block has a history of alleged fraud and corruption cases published in the media - and what happened - he was appointed MEC of Finance. What a joke ! This is only another one added to the list.

  • The Observer - 2010-11-04 18:56

    Yengeni is free and already up to his old tricks. Doesn't say much this. At least he was caught, remains a good thing and congrats to the Hawks. Where is the money and where will it go? I recon the state should use this money and provide scholar ships to promising poor kids or invest in sport scools.

  • Piet - 2010-11-04 21:45

    Block's big friend is Khandilizwe Nqadala (President of the Regional court of the Northern Cape). Read Nose Week - Issue # 130 August, 2010. So what will come of this? Nothing.

  • Observer - 2010-11-04 23:43

    Let us not forget that John Block was probably the only politician in the country to have resigned after being fingered for irregular spending of government money - and he resigned from his high MEC position. Let us not forget that he paid back every sent of what was put into contention. Let us not forget that he went on national television to confess. Let us not forget that he was later investigated and cleared by the police and other government related investigations of any wrongdoing because of a policy vacuum - something that JB could not be blamed for. Let us not forget that he was also found NOT guilty in a recent hearing in a court of law. Let us not forget that the ANC is still divided into camps and that these camps will go to the extreme to make sure their political opponents are taken out of the competition for positions - even, for example, abusing state resources such as the police by manufacturing innuendos if it suits them. Let us take into consideration that all but two accused in this case got bail today - but not the foreigner and JB. The foreigner is a clear flight risk but not JB. He did not flee in his previous case, why should he do it now? Why, apart from the foreigner, was he the only South local kept behind bars but the rest were let go? This surely must make all and the media think twice about how to approach this case!

      Gen - 2011-04-10 14:25

      It still does'nt make stealing right. A man who steals bread and returns it, is still a thief.

  • kingsley - 2010-11-05 06:53

    Guess what. Mr Block will be redeployed to the Gauteng legislature and the Hawks will be disbanded at the end of February 2011.

  • Free and Fair - 2010-11-05 08:18

    The bigger problem that SA faces now is that I do not think that we will ever have another FREE & FAIR election. WHY ? Because if that happens just about all the ANC politicians will end up in jail and I am sure that they will do ANYTHING to prevent that. SO, check out for rigged elections in future...... that's my 2c.

  • Judith Armstrong - 2010-11-05 09:06

    My heart bleeds and to coin the inevitable I cry for our beloved country. Is there no way to stop this government from raping and pillaging - one would swear it wasn't their country but that they were the conquerers of a another world, with the right of conquerers to take all. But then they probably are - the ANC won and to the victor goes the spoils. What a joke our wonderful world is becoming with Malema being the Court Jester!

  • smartiepants - 2010-11-05 09:13

    Re the Headline - which Block of the ANC is in trouble again. The entire parliamentary block or just the regional blocks? Or are we lucky and it is the entire BLOCK that have been busted?

  • Judy - 2010-11-05 09:18

    Is this a particular ANC block or the entire block? Are we going to arrest all party officials as a block? Where are we going to house them all - do we have to build a new top security prison called the ANC Block?

  • Bheki - 2010-11-05 10:01

    The arrest of JB is welcome and I think it is long overdue. I have a feeling that the Hawks are selective in their actions I think those who do not pay their " tithe" to the party will be arrested. It is true that in future election will not be free and fair considering the number of millionaires that will be arrested if ever another party other than the current one wins. Did you hear the noise about the meeting of Cosatu and other organisation? He (Vavi) was about to be arrested for attending this meeting without the approval of the party. The party is about to arrest those who meets without the party approval (illegal gathering). Only time will tell.

  • DeonL@notsosmart! - 2010-11-05 10:04

    Judy, smartiepants and Raj, They are referring to a Mr Block an ANC member, not a group / block of people, maybe you should read the article carefully before making stupid remarks! Although we would not be surprised to see a group of ANC members getting arrested at once in the future!

  • Elephant Memory - 2010-11-05 10:28

    Observer, Papa - let us not forget that Jacob Zuma has not yet answered a charge of corruption, he side-stepped it and so still has this cloud hanging over his head. The best way to prove your innocence is to face your accusers in court and put the matter to rest once and for all! What did he do?? Conned the mass of unsophisticated voters of South Africa, disbanded the Scorpions, created the Hawks, got them to sweep the dirt under a carpet and became president in the rush! Let us not forget that Shabir Sheik is running around as though nothing ever happened instead of being behind bars where he belongs as a result of being found guilty of corruption. Nobody believes that he miraculously recovered from a “terminal illness” we are not even sure that he was ill in the first place – who is his big buddy?? None other than Jacob Zuma. Let us not forget that Tony Yengeni served a few months of a Four Year sentence and is running around as though nothing ever happened. Who is his big buddy?? None other than Jacob Zuma. Let us not forget that I can continue with this list ad infinitum, but for the sake of brevity, will stop there. Let us not forget that allowing a few minnows to be caught while a substantial number of “big fish” still get away with robbing the people of South Africa does nothing to show South Africans that the government is doing the right thing by them. On the contrary, it is a smoke-screen mechanism to hide the major crimes they are perpetrating against the people of South Africa and in particular the poor souls who know no better and continue to return them to office election after election. Umshini Wami. Umshini Wami. Umshini Wami.

  • Modiri - 2010-11-05 11:03

    Hoorah ! at long last Zamani you next.

  • Byron - 2010-11-05 11:32

    Deon have you ever heard of sarcasm???

  • Major Shistirrer - 2010-11-05 12:59

    ANC = Apathy, Nepotism, Corruption. If all this can stop, SA's tax burden can be halved, and government will still have more than enough left over for service delivery. I think the problem is that the ANC still see themselves as a "liberation organization" (as quoted by themselves in the past week), and not as a responsible government. Sorry guys, you cannot blame it on the past anymore. You've had more than enough time to educate yourselves politically. Recent events are showing you up for what you are: nothing but a bunch of common thieves, with no interest in "governing" for the good of the country or her people.

  • Bruce - 2010-11-05 13:10

    Seeing that the corrupt government is so pro chinese, Deal with mr block like they would of. They can use my garden wall to put him up against.

  • doug - 2010-11-05 14:59

    "The ANC was shocked by the arrest of Northern Cape finance, economic development and tourism MEC John Block" - these okie pokies are always shocked. Must be because they are worried sick which other ANC scumbags are in line for visits from the Hawks and who is going to split on who.

  • DeonL - 2010-11-05 15:02

    Mr Block should resign now or will he be doing the Finances of Northern Cape from Prison? Even the Nats resigned when they were caught out, it is the honourable thing to do!

  • Erno van Dyk - 2010-11-05 15:32

    @ Deon@notsosmart please tell me your comment was meant as a joke because, if not, you are the one that is really not so smart! Corruption??? What corruption??? If anyone of you commentators actually think there will be anything happening in the near, or any future for that matter, you are sadly mistaken. We are an African country run by Africans - make your own assumptions.

  • mark - 2010-11-05 15:40

    the only honest ANC official is a dead one , the whole lot are corrupt from top to bottom including the idiots in the ANCYL .

  • Snout spotter - 2010-11-05 15:43

    As Piet mentions, Noseweek has been airing Block and his cronies corrupion for a long time. Only his good connections in the like minded ANC has kept him from being arrested before this. One has to be rather cynical though and expect only those who have fallen out of favour to be arrested for corrupion, otherwise the entire ANC hierarchy would be on bail.

  • Watch this space - 2010-11-05 21:50

    I would not worry too much if I was John Block....moving from Kimerley to either a Parliamentary House in CT or an Embassy in Europe (or whereever he wants to go) is something to look forward to! Just a year untill the case comes to nothing and walla...!!! ANC, wake up & smell the roses, yoiu are DESTROYING our beloved country!!

  • Carl Muller - 2011-04-10 11:24

    Stealing from the poor....

  • Gen - 2011-04-10 14:10

    Would'nt it be nice to one day open a newspaper with the head lines, "An honest ANC member found in Government". Then again most of us won't believe it, and we'll write something in this comment box about it's not possible. I've heard the term coconuts branded around about of the ANC elite. Banana's would be more fitting, there's not a straight one in the bunch.

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