Public protector finds Block not guilty

An investigation by public protector Thuli Madonsela into of allegations of wrongdoing relating to the sale of a piece of land by the Sol Plaatje municipality cleared Northern Cape finance minister John Block and Northern Cape Premier Hazel Jenkins. Block and Jenkins were alleged to have influenced the deal to benefit a company called Fastpulse Trading, allegedly linked to Block. In two reports titled, “False alarm”, relating to the allegations against Jenkins and “Disturbing rumours”, relating to the allegations against Block, Madonsela stated that no evidence could be found that either official had breached the executive ethics code in their involvement in the deal. Madonsela was asked to investigfate the deal by Cope’s leader in the Northern Cape, Fred Wyngaard, after a Noseweek report in 2010. The report featured allegations of a meeting between Jenkins, Block, Northern Cape ANC provincial secretary Zamani Saul, and municipal officials, where the sale of the land was allegedly discussed. The land in question was sold to a property developer,Tremaine Crawford, in 2008 but the deal fell through when he did not pay the purchase price. The land was subsequently sold to Fastpulse. Crawford then obtained an interdict prohibiting the Sol Plaatje municipality from continuing with the transfer of property to Fastpulse. The dispute was later resolved and Crawford was offered an opportunity to buy the land at the same price, in May 2010. No evidence At a press briefing in Pretoria on Monday, Madonsela said her office could find no evidence to support the allegation that Block and Jenkins had abused their office to sway the deal in Fastpulse’s favour. There was also no evidence to support allegations that Block was linked to Fastpulse, she said. Madonsela further refuted evidence given by a former property consultant, Mandy Bakker, that Block and Jenkins were directly involved in the deal. Bakker represented another potential buyer, who would have purchased the land from Crawford. “Under the circumstances, Ms Bakker’s evidence does not constitute substance and support for the allegations that Block was involved in the land transaction between Fastpulse and the municipality,” Madonsela said. * this article was first published by the Mail & Guardian Online on November 27 2012. * Got a tip-off for us about this story? Email [email protected]

The M&G Centre for Investigative Journalism, a non-profit initiative to develop investigative journalism in the public interest, produced this story. All views are ours. See for all our stories, activities and sources of funding.

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Phillip De Wet
Guest Author
Sally Evans
Guest Author

Stella set to retain her perks

Communication minister will keep Cabinet perks during her two months of special leave

Not a sweet deal, Mister

Mister Sweet workers say they will not risk their health, and the lives of others, to continue producing and packaging confectionaries

Covid-19 grounds Nigeria’s medical tourists

The country’s elites, including the president, travelled abroad for treatment but now they must use the country’s neglected health system

Nehawu launches urgent court bid over protective gear for health...

The health workers’ union says the government has rebuffed its attempts to meet about mitigating risks to workers

Press Releases

Rahima Moosa Hospital nursing college introduces no-touch facial recognition access system

The new system allows the hospital to enrol people’s faces immediately, using artificial intelligence, and integrates easily with existing access control infrastructure, including card readers and biometrics

Everyone’s talking about it. Even Kentucky

Earlier this year South African fried chicken fast-food chain, Chicken Licken®, launched a campaign for their wallet-friendly EasyBucks® meals, based on the idea of ‘Everyone’s talking about it.’

New energy mix on the cards

REI4P already has and will continue to yield thousands of employment opportunities

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world