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DEBT & DISORDER

Elections material company gets a third writ of attachment against ANC, this time for R150-million

Elections material company gets a third writ of attachment against ANC, this time for R150-million
Illustrative image | Sources: ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa outside Luthuli House, Johannesburg. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla / Netwerk 24) | ANC election posters in Johannesburg. (Photo: Frank Trimbos / Gallo Images) | Luthuli House. (Photo: Gallo Images / Lubabalo Lesolle)

The ANC has been slapped with a third writ of attachment for an unpaid debt of R150m to a small media company that produces its election paraphernalia.

Ezulweni Investments has pursued the ANC to pay it for election banners and other campaign material featuring President Cyril Ramaphosa, which helped clinch a win for the party in the 2019 election. These materials are a lynchpin asset for ANC campaigns.

But the ANC failed to pay the company.

anc debt

Ezulweni is a small Newcastle-based company which has now secured three attachment orders against the ANC. Its owners incurred debt to quickly produce the party’s banners before the 2019 election. The homes of several employees have been attached, and it owes local and Chinese suppliers.

Ezulweni attached the party’s bank account in December 2020 and lifted the order pending settlement talks. When the talks failed, the ANC attempted to appeal against the September 2020 judgment which found that the party owed the company R102-million, plus interest and costs. 

That debt has since escalated to R150-million, the value of the third writ of attachment granted on 26 May once interest is calculated. Legal fees will be layered on top of that.

In April 2021, the ANC was granted leave to appeal, but then botched proceedings every step of the way, according to an affidavit filed to the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) by Shafiq Sarlie, attorney for the media company.

Its appeal lapsed on 4 April, according to a letter from the registrar. The ANC is applying to the SCA to reinstate an application.

If Ezulweni acts on its attachment writ, the ANC will likely seek and be granted an urgent stay of execution of asset attachment pending the SCA’s decision.

“The ANC’s concession that it has been ‘unduly tardy’ is noted. This, I submit, has been the hallmark of its conduct from the inception of proceedings nearly four years ago,” says Sarlie’s affidavit.

In March this year, the ANC terminated its relationship with MNS Attorneys days ahead of its deadline in the appeal court. Sarlie’s affidavit says this was an “unsurprising and deliberate step” and the “oldest trick (to delay proceedings) in the book”.

ANC Secretary-General Fikile Mbalula alleged fraud and said the party would lay criminal charges. He did not say against whom and what the fraud entailed.

Daily Maverick’s Ray Mahlaka reported on the party’s R200-million debt in 2021.

Read more in Daily Maverick: The ANC, a tax evader? Massive debt, unpaid salaries, dry donation taps

The party’s website crashed when it failed to pay a service provider, and its archive is now hosted on a different domain name. In 2021 and 2022, staff held regular protests at Luthuli House for unpaid salaries, UIF and pension contributions. 

Nonkululeko Njilo reports that this is what Mbalula said about the judgment and latest writ at a press conference on 31 May:

“Myself and the general manager have not received any application to attach, but should that happen, we will challenge that. We have appealed in the Supreme Court of Appeal in terms of this judgment of Ezulwini,” said Mbalula.

“It is a fraudulent matter… we are going to open a case with the law enforcement agencies that this matter must be investigated and necessary steps must be taken to deal with it. We have taken steps to deal with the matter quietly in terms of investigations and everything in our power to deal with this matter.

“It is a big concern to us that we could get to this stage where the courts have ruled against us, and give these people the possibility that they have a case of R102-million.

“How could we have given one person R102-million in the campaign of the election for things that you yourselves have not seen in the streets… then our campaign would have been ‘wow’ if we spent R102-million on billboards or anything of that sort. We are struggling… where would we get R102 million?

“It is a disaster that you can get people coming together and using the law to trick the ANC in the manner in which this thing has happened, and it is very clear that they couldn’t do this thing alone.

“It was done in collusion, clearly, with our staff, which we need to take steps equally with those who have aided this criminal activity,” said Mbalula. DM

Gallery

Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Richard Bryant says:

    The biggest joke of all is that the contract which was entered into was signed by the same Fikile Mbalula. The one who says it was fraudulent. The Courts at every level have confirmed the contract was valid and payable.

    What a laugh. Fikile probably doesn’t know the difference between R1m and R100m but was obviously confident that the money would be stolen from somewhere. No worries.

    But they elected him. Secretary General. Grand title. Lots of bluster. Disaster.

  • Anthony Sturges says:

    Oh please!

  • William Kelly says:

    If you deal with muppets you will get paid in crayons.

  • Johnny Kessel says:

    The ANC’s Pinàta-in-chief is a shameless individual.

  • D'Esprit Dan says:

    And this, folks, is why the AMC is in the clutches of Russia: so abysmal are they at managing finances that they are open season for every conman and fraudster, gangsters and mafia, the most powerful of which is Putain. From Zuma’s cash envelopes to Russia underwriting Lootfreely House, it’s the same sordid tale. And now they’re tanking the country because they’re so in hock to Putain.

  • Iam Fedup says:

    When will foolish companies realise that they must have nothing to do with these thieves? This headline has been – and will continue to be – repeated over and over again. But at a deeper level, the ANC and EFF need collaborators to continue with the thievery perpetrated by Mbalula and all the other rotten rascals in Chief Albert Loot-Freely House, and the moment they strangle the supply of money, election products, legal and publicity services, and everything else needed to keep them in power, it’s all over. Let’s see how MacDonalds will respond to having to pay for its boss’s next election campaign.

  • Shaun Beckley says:

    Settlement in Rubles anyone?

  • David Mark says:

    Do you know what’s ridiculous about this story? Paying R3,400 for a single PVC poster (even if that includes VAT and installation)! R102,000,000 / 30,000 = R3,400. Ridiculous. ANC cadre prices coming home to bite? Haha!

  • Craig A says:

    So, the ANC, our government, can’t pay its suppliers for over 4 years. They didn’t pay their staff and didn’t pay over pension contributions. They can’t even pay their internet provider. If this was a company owned by your regular taxpaying sucker, we would have been liquidated and charged with fraud. But these incompetent clowns continue to run our country (into the ground mind you)! We are way down that slippery slope.

  • Bee Man says:

    Not long before the Russian sponsors withdraw, the muppets are becoming unaffordable liabilities I would rekon.

  • Libby De Villiers says:

    But Fikile, it can’t be fraudulent – you, yourself, said just the other day, there are no fraudulent people in the ANC. This is confusing the nation! And you signed the contract, so it must all be a mistake. Don’t misunderstand me, not your mistake. Or, as you say, a third force. You make us laugh!

  • Martha Norris says:

    I wonder who will settle their debt for them his time? Russia?!

  • Nos Feratu says:

    The anc are a bunch of crooks and I am on the suppliers side here but 30.000 posters for R102,000,000? At R3400 per poster that sounds a bit steep to me! Maybe some retired Eskom cadres now work for the anc?

  • derek sauls says:

    I guess this is how the system you create with monies for friends and loaded prices comes back to bite you … R3400 per poster – ha ha … sounds about right …. R250 toilet roll anyone ….

  • Confucious Says says:

    Haaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahaha. Yet the anc wants to tell us how to run private businesses! They are a dishonest bunch of political dreamers and useless with anything to do with numbers!

  • Rob vZ says:

    Pure justice. ANC is the victim of their own proscribed 1000% cadre mark-up. Couldn’t have happened to a more honest bunch…

  • PETER BAKER says:

    That’s R 3400 per poster which you can get for R 155 each maximum for that number – this is the classic case of the genetic corruption of the cANCer, that it is like the shark eating his own injured bleeding tail – he just know that where there’s blood you go for it and devour it. EVERYONE in the cANCer is corrupt – its in their D N A and they will steal where ever is money around. They will steal from themselves, their little old grannies and their own children – even the beggars on the street! They are unfit, everyone of them, to run anything in this country. Let’s just sit back and watch them self-immolate – but can you imagine the stink of the fire? The only way SA can be salvaged is by the complete and utter destruction of the cANCer. And may the survivors never have peace.

  • Bruce Q says:

    I have to confess celebrating the appointment of this fool as the DG of the ANC.
    It is my belief that he is capable of single-handidly bringing down the ANC.
    But then, he has help from Ramaphosa and his ferociously incompetent cabinet. And let’s not forget to mention the many, many other overweight ANC ministers.
    The ANC is clearly failing.
    Alas it is dragging this wonderful country down with it.
    How terribly, terribly sad.

  • Stuart Hulley-Miller says:

    This is an existional threat to the ANC …… someone needs to give them cash quickly, who ….. Russia, Karpower Ships, China etc ….. the ANC will give any concession they need to. We are in trouble and media should be hammering this home to the public.

  • Brian Doyle says:

    What a disaster the now ANC secretary general is. One mess up after another and still Ramaphosa does not get rid of him as he should. We unfortunately have the largest bunch of incompetents in the ANC government

  • nickha says:

    Ag shame! I really feel for them! (Ha, ha)

  • Lisbeth Scalabrini says:

    What a disgrace! They are not even ashamed, but try not to pay using all the tricks they know.
    I’ll bet that the big shots’ salaries are paid on time😠

  • Roelf Pretorius says:

    Oh I have news for Mbalula. This is what the ANC has been doing for decades – they simply have no conscience in how they deal with payment of service providers. I remember that in 2006, before the election, I was in the office of a local newspaper to arrange for an advertisement for the Independent Democrats and to pay for it. At the same time the ANC was also there for the same reason (to arrange for an advertisement for the ANC). BUT they were not prepared to pay for it. In the end they were sent away empty-handed while I got my advertisement, because I was prepared to pay for it. The newspaper said that they had learnt their lesson with the political parties and thus they demanded payment up front before they commit to advertising for political parties.

  • Roelf Pretorius says:

    . . . And Mbalula’s attitude just shows how arrogant the ANC has become. They have gotten this small business into a lot of financial trouble because they wanted a service without paying for it – and now the ANC wants to pull rank on it. Maybe someone must take the ANC to court to have it declared bankrupt! That may just set them thinking about their priorities!

  • TREVOR FOX says:

    TLC – thieves, liars, cheats – the whole damned lot of them.

  • Jane Crankshaw says:

    These guys……unbelievable!

  • James Leroy says:

    Oh Fekile! You are a true bufoon-par-excellence! Haha, a perfect poster boy for the calibre of person residing in the ANC. Should’ve been a comedian.

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