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Block starts serving 15-year prison sentence

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The Department of Correctional Services in Gauteng was still in the process of confirming that all the paperwork on Christo Scholtz had been processed.

PRISON SENTENCE: Former ANC provincial chairperson John Block handed himself over at the Kimberley Correctional Centre yesterday. Picture: Soraya Crowie

FORMER ANC Northern Cape provincial chairperson John Block handed himself over at the Kimberley Correctional Centre yesterday morning, to start serving his 15-year prison sentence.

He had reportedly presented himself to the facility early in the morning, where he managed to evade the glare of the media.

Block, along with the CEO of the Trifecta group of companies, Christo Scholtz, was found guilty on charges of corruption and money laundering in the Northern Cape High Court in December 2016.

The charges relate to kickbacks that were paid over in exchange for facilitating leases that were concluded for government departments in the Northern Cape and the Trifecta group of companies.

Department of Correctional Services acting regional commissioner for the Free State and Northern Cape, Kenneth Mthombeni, yesterday confirmed that Block had handed himself over yesterday morning.

He indicated that Scholtz was not being accommodated in any correctional services facility in Kimberley.

Scholtz is believed to have yesterday handed himself over to the Zonderwater Correctional Centre in Cullinan, in the Pretoria area.

At the time of going to print, the Department of Correctional Services in Gauteng was still in the process of confirming that all the paperwork had been processed.

Detention warrants were issued by the Northern Cape High Court on Monday after Block and Scholtz lost both appeals with the Supreme Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Court against their conviction and sentence.

The Supreme Court of Appeal found that Block had used political influence to coerce officials to conclude irregular leases with Trifecta in contravention of supply chain and tender procedures.

In its ruling, the Constitutional Court indicated that Block and Scholtz had “no prospect of success”.