Block is due in court

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IOL pic jan31 wooden gavel block Independent Newspapers A forensic report has recommended that criminal charges of fraud be filed against Eden mayor Wessie van der Westhuizen and others in the Western Cape. File photo.

Johannesburg - Northern Cape ANC leader John Block is due to appear in the Kimberley Magistrate's Court on Thursday facing fraud and racketeering charges.

The allegations relate to government departments purchasing water purification equipment at inflated prices in 2005 and 2006.

Accused with Block is Intaka Holdings director Gaston Savoi.

The pair, together with former senior Sol Plaatje municipal officials, are also due to appear in the Kimberly High Court in April this year for their fraud and corruption trial.

In this case, Block, Savoi, former Sol Plaatje mayor Patrick Lenyibi, municipal manager Frank Mashilo and chief financial officer Nandipha Madiba face charges of fraud, corruption and contravening the Municipal Finance Management Act. Accused with them is Intaka Holdings industrial director Fernando Praderi.

The charges relate to the acquisition of a portable water purification unit by the Sol Plaatje municipality for Ritchie, an area near Kimberley, in April 2011.

It is alleged that Intaka was paid more than R2.7-million before the plant was installed or commissioned. The Sol Plaatje municipality includes Kimberley and surrounding areas such as Ritchie and Modder River. - Sapa

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