If the ANC does not repay a debt of over R100 million, it may be at risk of liquidation. The party has sought the intervention of the Constitutional Court to prevent the seizure of its assets. Additionally, the ANC has stated that the contract with Ezulweni was fraudulent and is pursuing legal action against members implicated in a forensic investigation.

By Staff Reporters

The ANC is taking action against specific members by initiating legal proceedings following a comprehensive forensic investigation into the Ezulweni Investments 2019 election campaign contract, which uncovered their involvement in dubious activities.

This follows a lengthy legal conflict lasting five years regarding the alleged R150 million debt owed by the governing party to Ezulweni, a printing company located in KwaZulu-Natal. Ezulweni recently achieved a favourable outcome in a case against the ANC before the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA).

On Monday, the sheriff, representing Ezulweni, was refused entry when attempting to carry out a writ of execution order to confiscate assets belonging to the governing party.

During a media briefing on Monday, Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri, the national spokesperson of the ANC, announced that the party has conducted an investigation and is planning to take appropriate action against individuals who have assumed unauthorized authority to approve the transaction. This transaction could potentially lead to the party’s liquidation if the disputed invoice is not settled.

Bhengu-Motsiri mentioned that there were several irregularities observed in the procurement process of services from Ezulweni Investments.

“In the case of Ezulweni Investments, there are several procurement processes and policy breaches that on the face of it are tantamount to irregularities and fraud. Therefore, in fulfilment of the ANC’s renewal agenda as mandated by the 55th National Conference, we believe, it is pertinent to pursue all possible legal remedies in an effort to reverse questionable actions of the recent past,” she said.

Bhengu-Motsiri said an internal inquiry uncovered that specific individuals and members of the party acted without proper authorisation in approving the aforementioned transaction.

“We found some culpability out of the forensic report. We have since referred criminal charges and those are now underway. Some of these may not be informed by the full understanding of the work we are doing to improve governance within the party as part of our renewal agenda,” she explained.

Bhengu-Motsiri expressed confidence in the party’s resilience, citing the dedication of its members and cadres to support the ANC in the event of potential liquidation. She emphasised that the ANC’s course of action would be determined by the Constitutional Court’s rulings.

In an interview with The Star, Renash Ramdas, the founder of Ezulweni Investment, stated that he has received favourable rulings from the courts on more than four occasions: “It is proven with regards to the case, and we are going to oppose the ANC’s appeal at the Constitutional Court because there is no constitutional matter. We started this matter at the Johannesburg High Court, and we went up to the Supreme Court.

“There have been appeals and there have been nine judges who have ruled in our favour. We are patient and the ANC knows as well that they have no case. Why would they make me an offer to settle if they were right in the first place.”

Meanwhile, Shafique Sarlie, the legal representative for Ezulweni, informed news24.com that if the ruling party does not meet their payment obligations, they will proceed with the liquidation process.

“My client has given the ANC a final opportunity to avoid liquidation and simply pay the money into their attorneys’ account or provide us with sufficient security for the debt, so we know they are not procrastinating and delaying payment. They have until Wednesday to do that. If they don’t, we are proceeding with this application.

“They can pay this amount, and it just makes sense to do that, given that they face the risk of being excluded from the elections by the IEC if there is pending liquidation.

“We are going to make a [solid] case for liquidation, they would be well-advised to pay this amount or give surety,” he told news24.com.

However, in an interview with news24.com, Billy Malatji, the legal manager of the African National Congress (ANC), stated that the ANC would not engage in such actions due to the fraudulent nature of the contract with Ezulweni.

“We are not going to pay anything; you don’t appeal and comply with the court order; when there is a judgment against you, and you appeal against that judgment, it’s automatically suspended until the outcome. This is the law,” Malatji said.

Last week, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) issued a ruling that ruled against the African National Congress (ANC) in their appeal of a decision made by a high court. The SCA upheld the ruling, ordering the ANC to pay the remaining amount of R102 million for the procurement of election materials in 2019. Additionally, the SCA mandated that the ANC bear the financial burden of the appeal process.

The SCA rejected the plea to introduce new evidence in the form of a forensic report conducted by EMS Forensics, which aimed to provide insight into the procurement process of the contract, a matter of significant controversy.

This development arose after the ANC pursued legal action by appealing to the SCA in response to the decision made by the High Court in Johannesburg, which had mandated the ANC to reimburse Ezulweni Investments for the expenses related to the provision of posters and banners for the party.

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