‘Block manipulated tenders’

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john block july 27

INLSA

(File photo) John Block. Photo: Bongiwe Mchunu

Northern Cape ANC leader John Block manipulated tenders for his own enrichment, according to a report on Friday.

According to an affidavit to investigators by former Kimberley hospital chief exective Hamid Shabbir, Block pressured provincial health officials into manipulating tenders, the Mail & Guardian newspaper reported on Friday.

Hamid left the country in 2009. Block's fraud and corruption trial was postponed to April 2013 earlier this year.

Block, former Sol Plaatje mayor Patrick Lenyibi, municipal manager Frank Mashilo and chief financial officer Nandipha Madiba faced charges of fraud, corruption and contravening the Municipal Finance Management Act.

Facing the same charges are Intaka Holdings director and Uruguayan businessman Gaston Savoi and the company's industrial director Fernando Praderi.

The charges relate to the awarding of multi-million rand tenders to supply water purification plants and oxygen generating units to provincial hospitals.

Hamid told investigators that Savoi had bribed him, and that he received R3, 2 million in kickbacks through a front company.

Hamid said he first met Block back in 2001 at the hospital. Block had been involved in a vehicle accident.

Hamid, who is living in Pakistan, has not been arrested or charged. He made his statement to investigators who visited him in Abu Dhabi in February 2011. - Sapa


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