Statement of the ANC Northern Cape PEC on the resignation of the ANC Provincial Chairperson

Statement of the ANC Northern Cape PEC on the resignation of the ANC Provincial Chairperson

16 October 2015

On Wednesday the Northern Cape High Court delivered a judgment in a case that involved the Provincial Chairperson and Deputy Provincial Secretary of the ANC. By now, the facts of the case are known to all. The verdict represented a mixed outcome for the ANC in the province as the Deputy Provincial Secretary was acquitted on all charges proffered by the state against him and the Provincial Chairperson was found guilty. We firmly believe that the prosecution of the Deputy Provincial Secretary of the ANC was unfounded and there was no legal basis for the charges against him. The PEC resolved to support the Deputy Provincial Secretary in seeking recourse for this malicious prosecution.

The verdict as it affects the Provincial Chairperson of the ANC presents a devastating blow on the ANC in the Northern Cape and left all of all of us shocked. Comrade John Block cut his political teeth in the congress politics from a very young age, when it was of great risk to participate in the struggle for the liberation and has an illustrious political history. He led the ANC Youth League in the province, became the Provincial Secretary of the ANC, from then he became the Deputy Provincial Chairperson and in 2004 he was elected the Provincial Chairperson of the ANC.

Comrade John Block has always been a star in the PEC with an immeasurable intellect and immense talent. Our former Provincial Chairperson and Premier of the province, comrade Manne Dipico, trusted him and relied greatly on his intelligence and hard work ethic. This became the trend with all Premiers in the province. During the term of comrade Dipuo Peters, comrade John became the MEC for Education and supported the Premier to ensure that we improve the quality of education in the province and comrade Dipuo trusted and depended on him. When comrade Hazel Jenkins was elected Premier of the Province, comrade John was there to render his support and would usually say that we must collectively make comrade Hazel the most successful Premier in the country. With the current Premier Sylvia Lucas, his approach is consistent to strive and work hard to ensure that the entire PEC give her the necessary support to improve the quality of life of the people of the Northern Cape.

Comrade John Block is not somebody that bears grudges and is not vindictive but subjected himself at all times to organisational discipline. Since 2004 all the appointments of Premiers were made while the province recommended him as the first preference, he never protested against those decisions by the ANC, but humbly and enthusiastically accepted the NEC decisions and would commit himself to work very hard to support the appointed Premier. He was never driven by self-interest in the execution of his duties as the leader of the ANC in the province. He has high regard for organisation processes and safeguarded them, hence in the last NGC the ANC in the Northern Cape was announced as the most politically stable province in the country. It is under his leadership that the province experienced significant growth in membership and in its electoral support.

We therefore hope that this glimpse on John's role in building the ANC and government in the province will make everybody understand the extent and the impact of the High Court judgment on the ANC in the province and broadly the community of the Northern Cape. After the guilty verdict we met as the Provincial Officials to look at its impact on the image of the ANC. We accordingly also informed Luthuli House about the outcomes. Comrade John was given opportunity to reflect on the outcome and advise us on the way forward. Yesterday he voluntarily decided to resign his position as the Provincial Chairperson of the ANC, as the Member of the Provincial Legislature and as the Member of the Executive Council.

Today we convened a Special PEC meeting to discuss his resignation and it's extremely difficult to inform you that the PEC resolved to accept his resignation taking into cognisance the resolutions of the 4th National General Council and the legal difficulties he is confronted with. The PEC resolved to convene Special Regional General Councils on Saturday and Sunday attended by all branch chairpersons and secretaries to communicate this decision and also review our 2016 Local Government Election programme. The PEC further resolved to confirm comrade Kenny Mmoiemang, the current Deputy Provincial Chairperson, as the Acting Provincial Chairperson. The PEC has full confidence in his leadership capabilities, as he has been part of the PEC collective for many years.

As the PEC we will continue to support comrade John in his future endeavours to clean his name. He remains a member of the ANC and we still hold him in high esteem as one of the seasoned leaders of our movement. We wish him well and we are very confident in his capabilities to make success out of his life and his family. This is a very difficult time for comrade John and his family, and we wish that the media will give him and his family time to reflect and to heal from this excruciating pain. All ANC members in the province and in the country must derive valuable lessons from this mishap; we hope never to go through this experience again.

Issued by Zamani Saul
Provincial Secretary

For any enquiries contact comrade Naledi Gaosekwe 073 617 9671, office number 053 831 466.

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