Former ANC provincial chairperson, John Block. Picture: Danie van der Lith/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Kimberley - DA provincial leader Andrew Louw believes that former ANC provincial chairperson John Block is receiving preferential treatment behind bars after his apparent transfer to Upington, two days after his incarceration.

Block handed himself over to a Correctional Services facility in Kimberley on Tuesday in order to start serving his 15-year jail sentence.

He was found guilty of corruption and money laundering in 2016, where the court found that he had used his political influence to facilitate government leases with the Trifecta group of companies in exchange for kickbacks.

Louw stated on Thursday that he had “reliably learnt” that Block had been transferred from Kimberley to a Correctional Services centre in Upington.

“It is baffling that Block is transferred from where his family is based and where his main residential property is located, to Upington. Prisoners are ordinarily detained based on security reasons. The preferential treatment being afforded to a convicted fraudster makes us very sceptical. Clarity must be given on the reasons for this move as a matter of urgency.”

Louw believed that Block had enjoyed far more leniency in reporting to Correctional Services than any other citizen.

“While ordinary South Africans convicted on far lesser charges are locked away in overcrowded communal cells, Block will reportedly be enjoying a stay in warder’s quarters that have been specially cleaned and prepared for his stay.”

The Department of Correctional Services acting regional commissioner in the Free State and Northern Cape, Kenneth Mthombeni, said he was unable to confirm or deny Block’s apparent transfer to another Correctional Services facility.

“The transfer of an offender is a security-related issue that is not for public knowledge and can only be communicated upon the request of their relatives,” said Mthombeni.

“The Department of Correctional Services can transfer an inmate where it is deemed appropriate.”

Mthombeni explained that the decision to transfer an inmate was based on a needs assessment as well as reasons provided for by family members.

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