Johannesburg – The South African Communist Party on Sunday welcomed the stiff 15-year prison sentence handed to former Northern Cape African National Congress chairman John Block.
"While the SACP respects the right to appeal, it is saddened, at one level, of course, to see former activists enmeshed in criminal activity and ending up in jail," the SACP said in a statement.
"However, it is absolutely essential, not least for the moral standing of the ANC and the [tripartite] alliance, that the criminal justice system pursues wrongdoing without fear or favour and that a powerful lesson is sent – no-one is above the law.
"In particular, as alliance formations that can be proud of our struggle history we should be in the forefront of ensuring that anyone who claims to represent our legacy, anyone who wears our colours, must not merely observe the law but actively set the highest moral example as defined in revolutionary terms," the SACP said.
Block, 49, also former Northern Cape finance MEC, was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment by the Kimberley High Court on Tuesday. His business associate 60-year-old Christo Scholtz, CEO of Trifecta Holdings, was also sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.
In addition, a forfeiture order of R2 million was made against Block while a R53 million confiscation order was made against Scholtz and Trifecta.
The pair were found guilty of corruption and money laundering in December 2015. The charges related to their involvement in inflating prices on the lease agreement between them and the Northern Cape social development department.
They are appealing the sentences.