John Block should resign

Andrew Louw, MPL

DA Provincial Leader, Northern Cape

The DA will be watching developments around the John Block integrity report with baited breath. We understand that the preliminary report recommending his resignation has been returned and we are interested in the final recommendations.

We believe that it is fair and just to request John Block’s resignation. In fact, the DA has been asking the premiers of the Northern Cape to relieve John Block of his duties as MEC for Finance since 2009. He simply does not have the integrity to hold this office and there are too many unanswered questions hanging over his head. His ongoing criminal court cases, the theft of diamonds earmarked for KIDJA, the controversial lease agreements with Ocean Echo Properties and other scandals raises serious questions about his fitness to hold office. Just as you cannot have inmates running the asylum, you cannot have a man charged with corruption, fraud and money laundering holding the provincial purse.

It is certainly the prerogative of the ANC as a political party to elect their own leadership. But it is to the detriment of the province as a whole to appoint someone facing serious criminal charges as MEC for Finance. The provincial government has played ostrich politics when it comes to fighting corruption – they seem to think that, if they refuse to talk about it, the issue will go away. But it is becoming clearer and clearer that the premier cannot refuse to act against John Block and his co-accused any longer.

We again call on the premier to do what is right and to suspend John Block until the criminal cases against him have been dealt with by the courts.