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Block case delayed in Kimberley court

Bloemfontein - A fraud trial involving three prominent Northern Cape ANC members and the Trifecta Group was delayed in the Kimberley High Court on Monday.

Northern Cape African National Congress leader John Block and two other provincial ANC heavyweights, Yolanda Botha and Alvin Botes, and Trifecta director Christo Scholtz face charges of fraud, corruption, and money laundering.

Northern Cape ANC chairman John Block is on trial for fraud and corruption. File photo: Bongiwe Mchunu. Credit: INLSA

The reason for the delay was not immediately clear. Proceedings were not yet underway by noon.

The Democratic Alliance in the Northern Cape was picketing outside the court. Party members were holding placards against corruption in the province.

“Fire Corrupt Cadres”, “NC deserves better” and “Corruption steals jobs” read some of the slogans on the placards. On others, calls were made for action against Block.

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

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

The NPA said the case was part of the on-going work of the anti-corruption task team set up by Cabinet in July 2010 to deal effectively with large corruption cases.

On Monday, the Congress of the People in the province demanded that Block and Botes should resign as Northern Cape MECs.

“They have violated the trust they hold as members of the executive and they must vacate their seats until their names are cleared,” Cope's provincial chairperson Fred Wyngaard said.

“It cannot be in a normal democracy that you still hold office while you are facing so many criminal charges.”

The trial was postponed from October last year to Monday. - Sapa

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