He will complete the remainder of the sentence in the system of community corrections and will be subjected to supervision in compliance with parole conditions until his sentence expires on 26 June 2029.
The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) has placed former Northern Cape African National Congress (ANC) chairperson John Block on parole effective from 10 November.
Block was convicted of corruption and handed a 15-year jail sentence in December 2016 for using his political influence to solicit bribes while serving as a Northern Cape official. It wasn’t until November 2018 that he began serving time, as his numerous appeals proved unsuccessful.
According to DCS spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo, the parole placement decision was taken by the Correctional Supervision and Parole Board (CSPB), following Section 73 of the Correctional Services Act.
“The Offender Rehabilitation Path plays an important role when the inmate’s suitability for parole placement is being considered by the CSPB,” he said.
According to Nxumalo, Block was an active inmate, having participated in a number of correctional programmes, and went on to obtain a Diploma in Business Management.
“Reports by the specialists are part of the material submitted to the CSPB as they provide details in terms of the inmate’s readiness for social reintegration.”
Block benefited from the Special Remission of Sentences of 2019, 2020 and 2023, which brought forward his Minimum Detention Period to 13 September.
“This also takes into consideration the special remission of sentence for meritorious service as per Section 80 of the Correctional Services Act. Mr Block will complete the remainder of the sentence in the system of community corrections and will be subjected to supervision in compliance with parole conditions until his sentence expires on 26 June 2029.”
Block’s fraud case
Block was in August granted R50,000 on new fraud charges, but remained in prison for his initial 15-year sentence.
This after being rearrested in May by the Hawks over fraud allegations relating to the construction of the Kimberley Mental Health Hospital in 2003 when he was the province’s MEC of Transport, Roads, and Public Works.
The tender in question relates to the construction of a new mental health facility in Kimberley, which initially carried a budget of R290 million. However, the costs escalated to R420 million during Block’s tenure as the province’s roads and public works MEC.
Work on the project has since been halted, leaving the facility incomplete and unusable.
The matter was postponed to next year for Block to apply for Legal Aid.