Court orders review of decision to deny Block parole

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The Northern Cape High Court has instructed the Upington Correctional Supervision and Parole Board to review its decision to deny parole to the former African National Congress (ANC) provincial chairperson, John Block.

In 2020 Block had applied for a special remission of sentence that President Cyril Ramaphosa had granted qualifying inmates during the COVID-19 pandemic. Block’s application was dismissed and the Correctional Services Department later set aside his appeal.

The former Finance, Economic Development and Tourism MEC was jailed in 2018 for corruption related to office lease agreements for government departments.

Block’s legal representative, Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi successfully argued that his client was unfairly excluded and that the department had failed to interpret its own Act.

The court has given the department 21 days in which to review its decision and pay the applicant’s legal costs.