The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) has refuted a claim made by the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Julius Malema that corruption-convicted politician John Block, is back home, as opposed to prison.
Block, a prominent figure in the African National Congress (ANC) and former finance MEC in Northern Cape, was found guilty of fraud, corruption and money laundering in 2015 and sentenced to 15 years behind bars.
“We want to categorically state that allegations of offender Block being placed on parole are devoid of any truth and must be dismissed,”
Department of Correctional Services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo
He said they had been inundated with queries, as a result of Malema’s utterances.
“He remains incarcerated in our facility and will only be considered for parole placement after serving the minimum required time,” Nxumalo further said.
In a fiery one-hour interview with Newzroom Afrika, Malema claimed the former ANC bigwig was released on parole. It comes as the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI), also known as the Hawks, have been rather busy in recent weeks, arresting a number of politicians and business people for corruption.
News anchor Xoli Mngambi grilled Malema about the controversial VBS Mutual Bank scandal, in which the brother of EFF leader Floyd Shivambu, has also been embroiled. It is in respect of the aforementioned that Mngambi said:
“I will remind you of a senior former leader of the ANC who is in jail right now. A whole leader of a party in the Northern Cape. John Block, he is in jail”.
Malema responded, saying Block was not in prison, but was back home, prompting the journalist to ask how he knew this.
“He was released with corona, duh,” he replied.
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced in May that 19 000 prisoners would be paroled, in a bid to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Watch: Malema’s ‘duh’ moment
Block is said to have pocketed close to R1 million in relation to lease agreements. The Northern Cape High Court found that he influenced the awarding of lease agreements to a company known as Trifecta, owned by businessman Christo Scholtz.
Scholtz was also convicted in the matter.
The pair have challenged the original court ruling with the Constitutional Court having dismissed their applications for leave to appeal their sentences and convictions in November 2018.