Kimberley – Former ANC provincial chairman and once one of the most powerful figures in politics in the Northern Cape, John Block cut a lonely figure in the Northern Cape High Court on Tuesday morning as he waited for Judge Mmathebe Phatshoane to hand down his sentence.
Only a handful of people were present in the public gallery – in sharp contrast to Block’s earlier court appearances when government officials and party supporters flocked to court to show their support. Among the handful who arrived included Sol Plaatje City councillor, Vaughn Settley. He was shortly followed by Zamane Saul who stepped in the ANC's provincial chair after Block's resignation two days after he was found guilty.
Dressed neatly in a suit, Block appeared subdued and worked on his tablet as he waited for court to get underway.
Block and the CEO of Trifecta Investment Holdings (Pty) Ltd, Christo Scholtz, were found guilty more than a year ago on charges of corruption and money laundering relating to government leases that were awarded to Trifecta in exchange for gratifications.
Besides handing down her sentence, Judge Phatshoane is also expected to make a ruling on the confiscation of the two accused's’ assets, although there were some expectations that she would start immediately with the sentencing and leave it up to the Asset Forfeiture Unit to determine that amount to be forfeited.