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DEBT & DISORDER

ANC in trouble as high court sheriff attempts asset seizure over R102-million election banner debt

ANC in trouble as high court sheriff attempts asset seizure over R102-million election banner debt
Archive Photo: ANC staff picket outside Luthuli House in Johannesburg on 6 September 2021. (Photo: Gallo Images / Sharon Seretlo)

Despite nine judges in three different courts ruling that the ANC had a binding contract with Ezulwini Investments for election banners ahead of the 2019 general elections, the party has failed to pay the R102-million debt plus interest and costs, leading to an attempted attachment of its assets.

The ANC faces more trouble with the law after blocking access to the Sheriff of the Gauteng high court in Johannesburg which sought to attach its physical assets on Monday.    

This is in connection with the R102-million debt, plus interest and costs which it owes Ezulwini Investments for election banners and other campaign material featuring President Cyril Ramaphosa, which helped clinch a win for the party in the 2019 elections.     

Read more in Daily Maverick: Elections material company gets a third writ of attachment against ANC, this time for R150-million 

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.  

On Monday 4 December, a truck of the Sheriff was spotted outside the party’s headquarters, Luthuli House. A writ of execution which Daily Maverick has seen, was also served on the party to attach and take movable goods such as furniture, laptops, and printers. These would be then sold by public auction to recoup R102,465,000 plus interests and costs.   

Co-owner of Ezulwini, Peter Fernando said the company would stop at nothing to get its money back as the ruling party was blatantly disregarding court processes.  

This as the homes of several employees have been attached, and the party owes local and Chinese suppliers, Daily Maverick previously reported.  

“Our attorney is going to be getting authorisation for the Sheriff to break the locks and gain access to the premises. We are going to go all the way because from our point of view, the ANC is undermining the judicial processes,” said Fernando.  

“We won all the cases in the different courts and they still don’t abide by the decision, they are trying to see where or how they can get away with this. There is no way they will get away with this thing, we have been fighting this case for four and half years, it has cost us millions of rands despite the fact that they too owe us millions,” he told Daily Maverick

The party’s national spokesperson, Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri could not be reached for comment at the time of publication.   

The latest writ of execution is one of the party’s many ongoing woes. 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. 

Previously, Ezulweni applied to seize assets worth more than R102-million from the ANC after the party refused to pay it despite two judgments in the company’s favor: one handed down in September 2020, and an appeal heard by a full bench of the Johannesburg high court in June 2022.

Read more in Daily Maverick: ANC staff picket for the first time since unbanning in 1990 as state reforms bite at party finances

In the high court appeal ruling, the three judges said the ANC’s defence was “far-fetched”. The ANC applied to the SCA for leave to appeal that ruling, but the appeal lapsed. 

After Ezulweni obtained the writ of execution in 2022, the ANC reinstated the appeal, which was heard early in November.  

In addition to having its assets taken, the party also faces possible liquidation which could jeopardise it from contesting the 2024 national elections.     

To prevent the seizure of its assets, the ANC had reportedly approached the Constitutional Court. 

The ANC has until close of business on 6 December 2023, either to pay the full judgment debt into its Ezulweni’s trust account, the failure of which will see Ezulwini Investments proceed with the liquidation process.

“It must expressly be recorded that payment by your client of the judgment debt into your trust account, alternatively, the provision of acceptable and satisfactory security as demanded hereinbefore, will result in our client not proceeding with its application for liquidation,” said an attorney’s letter to the ANC’s legal team.

To date, nine Judges in three different courts have now ruled that Ezulwini Investments had a binding contract with the ANC and the party owes millions of rands for the supply of election banners ahead of the May 2019 general elections, Daily Maverick has reported.  

Read more in Daily Maverick: ANC liable for over R100-million in 2019 elections banners fiasco – Supreme Court of Appeal ruling 

Fernando said ANC treasurer general Gwen Ramokgopa had previously met with the company owners in a bid to settle the matter out of court. However, the talks fell through as the ANC had offered them a “ridiculous’”amount on the basis that, “they were going to give us some work for the 2024 elections, then they were going to pay this and that bill in small portions”. DM

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Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Rudolf Van Beerschoten Van Beerschoten says:

    Time for Ramaphosa to sell some cattle….

  • And this ANC has the right to comment about the affairs of other countries when it cannot manage its own affairs. Not only are they financially insolvent they are also mentally challenged.

  • Jimbo Smith says:

    This pathetic excuse for a political party is a disgrace beyond comprehension. There is no moral backbone, zero integrity as they go about destroying SA day by day. What an insult to the hard working, tax paying and law abiding citizens. The ANC is simply beyond redemption and totally unfit to govern.

  • Alan Jeffrey says:

    This jaw dropping stuff piled on a never-ending list of criminality and failure. Try to explain this to people in other parts of the world and most of the time they would think these are fairy stories that cannot be true! And yet despite some commentator posing the question recently-“How could ANYONE vote for the ANC ” miraculously it would appear that some still do! What are we all missing? Are we living in parrallel worlds?

  • ROBERT FLOOKS says:

    Seems the couch money will be needed now and Motsepe will be asked to donate a few bars to settle the bill.

    • George Olivier says:

      “Massive cash flows from a joint venture with sanctioned Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg could overwhelmingly shape the ruling party’s financial fortunes. The scale of the party’s reliance on this single asset may begin to explain the ANC’s fawning position on Russia”.

      The above from an article in Daily Maverick dated9 May 2022. My guess is that “someone” will come up with the money. Still, it’s a shocking state of affairs for any government or ruling party.

    • Lindy Gaye says:

      I suspect the couch money came from someone like Motsepe – former donors who now don’t want to be publicly associated with a bunch of crooks.

  • John P says:

    I am no legal mind but I really cannot see what the ConCourt can possibly have to do with a civil case. It seems to be just typical ANC delay tactics in the hopes that something will happen and the problem will go away.

    • Geoff Coles says:

      Of course, t5he trick is to delay 7ntil after the Election

    • Geoff Coles says:

      The trick is to delay until after the General Election and that might well happen given timings of Concourt

    • Con Tester says:

      The ConCourt no longer deals exclusively with constitutional matters. It is now also SA’s final court of appeal.

      But you’re very likely correct that the ANC will appeal for the sole purpose of delaying this matter until after next year’s elections. Kicking its own rusty cans down the road is a staple tactic in the ANC’s very large bag of deceptions.

  • Claire Klostermann says:

    It would be the absolute best thing for this country if the ANC couldn’t take part in the 2024 elections. We should be so lucky…

  • Richard Lyon says:

    Same old, same old. . . the ANC’s arrogance and disrespect for judicial process knows no bounds, but it is not a new phenomenon. At the time of the transition, I was working for a small Yeoville-based admin company, Taylormade Administration Services, which was hired by the ANC to provide the non-statutory side at the pre-Codesa talks with minutes of the dozens of committee meetings taking place daily.
    Long story short, when we sent them an invoice they avoided payment – it wasn’t R1-million, but it was a large enough sum to have bankrupted the company, so we did the unthinkable for a group of “lefties”, we sued the ANC, using, I’m embarrassed to say, Advocate Dali Mpofu. When we got to court, the ANC, represented by Adv. Mothole Motshekga (husband of the current Minister of Basic Education) simply failed to pitch.
    Summary judgement later, we sent the Sheriff round to what was then Shell House to attach some furniture and/or computers. I don’t remember the name of the person who called us in response, but I do remember how furious they were that we had had the cheek to demand payment.
    Here we are 30 years later. Same old, same old. . .

    • Middle aged Mike says:

      Your experience mirrors that of any number of individuals and companies. The ANC has had a substantial number of common criminals in it’s ranks since a very, very long time back. All that’s changed is that the criminals now constitute the overwhelming majority. Soft headed lefties like I used to be were pretty much self fooling and they thrived on separating us from our money.

      • Johann Olivier says:

        Hmmm? I fear this has less to do with the ANC than with Grifters International. A certain Orange Jellybag comes to mind. (No, not Geert Wilders!) Always stiffing people. Involved in multiple legal battles. Paying scant attention to courts. Lambasting court decisions. Constantly seeking to draw out lawsuits, hoping for opponent financial and/or spiritual exhaustion. All the while living the high life.

    • C S says:

      Yup couldn’t agreeore Richard. Same happened to a small business I worked for. SONA after party when that old rag Baleka was speaker of the house. They arrived hammered, tried to pick up the hostess, piled mountains if food in to plates and left the swanky Camps Bay venue looking like a plane at the end of a long flight from some sh*t hole country. Messy, litter all over the floor, the bathrooms looked like the sh*tter had exploded 🤣 viva. They never paid the 1M for the event. Company closed. End of. Black excellence at work again.

  • Trevor Smit says:

    Or some mysterious farm worker will win the Lotto and Powerball jackpots. Debt paid. No questions.

  • Karl Sittlinger says:

    After all the billions stolen by ANC cadres from South African taxpayers, it should be no problem for them to pay this. It’s not like Ramaphosa actually deserves his billions that were simply handed over to him either.

    • Johann Olivier says:

      Seriously! Thank you. Mr. Sittlinger. The obvious cannot be stated enough. I never did understand the unalloyed joy at the ascendancy of the ‘businessman’ Squirrel. The only ‘business’ he knowns is ‘easy, free money’. Shop steward to billionaire in a scant 10 years. How? What did he develop? Where did his seed money come from? His magic couch? The same couch can pay the $102m!

      • Geoff Coles says:

        A tad unfair….he was an in-house lawyer, fees guaranteed, not a shop steward.

        • Karl Sittlinger says:

          We are talking about billions here. Didn’t CR get some mines for free?

        • Con Tester says:

          Ramaposeur was a NUM shop steward at one of the Free State gold mines back in the 80s. I met him there once during a collective bargaining session.

          Paul Mashatile worked as a car guard in the erstwhile Times Media Ltd building in Johannesburg at around the same time.

  • Bonga Siyothula says:

    I hope this Peter Fernando guy has some seriously good bodyguards…that’s all I’m saying…

  • PETER BAKER says:

    The ANC is so rotten and necrotic to it very core, that like the proverbial shark eating its own bleeding tail, it’s members will even steal from themselves…..Street Pole Posters which normal people can buy for a hundred or so bucks, well the comrades paid a couple grand for. The smell of the absolute corruption fills the air. A hundred million Rand for banners and buntings is as much as the entire national budget to fix potholes!!

  • Richard Bryant says:

    If they attach couches, it might be a good idea to look under the cushions for bags of US$. You never know!

  • Peter Holmes says:

    Pretty dumb to do business with the Comrades in the first place. If a known criminal wanted to buy your car and requested a test drive before purchasing, would you permit this?

  • ARTHUR WALLER says:

    They steal from South Africa.
    The even steal from themselves
    No integrity

  • Karsten Döpke says:

    Schadenfreude can be a fine thing.

    • Garth Kruger says:

      I’m with you, Karsten. I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts.

      • Karsten Döpke says:

        The image of the scheriffs truck in front of Lethuli house made my week. I’m sure they will find some new illicit income stream to worm out of this one too, SAA’s newly implemented South American powder run comes to mind, but as you say, lets enjoy it while it lasts.

  • Jayce Moodley says:

    Does the ruling party have no consideration of the economical impact on small businesses and the consequences to the families these businesses support. This is not the way to do business and assure the citizens that they care about the growth of the economy but delivers the opposite.

  • Hermann Funk says:

    This makes the ANC a criminal organisation and should prevent it from participating in next year’s election.

  • Mark Gory Gory says:

    Look in Cyrils couch. Small change.
    Lock them up. Criminals to the last

  • Middle aged Mike says:

    An organization that appoints Fikile the Feckless as its COO isn’t one that you’d expect to do fantastically well. That they have for so long is thanks to SAs less than discerning electorate.

  • Middle aged Mike says:

    I find myself short of sympathy for the plaintiff. They sold massively overpriced goods to an organisation that had been the star of the Zondo commission for some time. In the extremely unlikely event that they didn’t already know that they were dealing with an organization who was going to pay them with the proceeds of crime testimony at the commission should have alerted them to that. No one pays 5 or ten times the going rate for goods with money they haven’t stolen. Tikkel Tokkel ek voel . . . . . . baie baie min vir hulle as they say in senior primary.

    • dave kloot says:

      Agree with you totally Mike. If you are in business and you hear that the supplier to your company of electrical equipment is giving “Christmas” presents of power drills to some of your employees, you should smell a rat. Same situation here. I have no sympathy for Ezulweni. Their owners should have INSISTED on charging realistic prices with no fat available for the cadres who need to feed

  • Andre Swart says:

    The proverbial rotten anc pawpaw hit the fan … !

    To the amusement and joy of the nation and the world!

    What a despicable spectacle!

  • Derek Jones says:

    The end of the bennininging. What’s beyond the constitutional court?

    • Iam Fedup says:

      A coup d’etat. Clearly, nobody in the ANC has any respect for the constitution and laws of the land. As a minimum, we should stop paying taxes, and practice civil disobedience in any way possible. Even the SAPS is rotten to the core, so arresting these imbeciles is not an option.

      • Derek Jones says:

        All options are open now iamfedup. All the ANC is about is money and violence and cheating and stealing. I see no merit in the party at all. Anyone who remains a member is a part of the problem.

  • Gregory Scott says:

    The incapacity and inability of the ANC to run the business affairs of the party in a good and proper manner extends to their inability to run the business affairs of Government.
    Put another way, the members of the ANC making the decisions in government are hopelessly incapable similar to the ANC members that run the financial affairs of the ANC party.
    This inability or incapability of running a multi-structured organisation is glaringly obvious.

  • Vas K says:

    I don’t understand what is the problem. All that the good cadres have to do is to dig in their mattresses and sofas for some change and the ANC’s problems are over. Surely the comrades have some responsibility, not just privileges.

  • It has been proven over and over that the ANC do not care about court rulings and/or complying with judgments, as they consider themselves as the untouchables superior to any court rulings.All that will happen is that they will play the well-known ANC delaying tactic by appealing against the court ruling.

  • Trenton Carr says:

    14 000 000 social grant dependents are told the ANC is paying them their grants.

    Not the tax payers, what little remains, there lies the ANC’s captive voters.

    Good luck breaking that.

    • Tony B says:

      Absolutely!

      I live in a small Karoo town. Those to whom I have spoken, believe that they will loose their social grants if they don’t vote for the ANC.
      And our opposition parties have done nothing to dispel this myth.

      Until they do that’s 14 000 000 guaranteed votes for the ANC.

      These voters don’t read the DM nor these comments.

  • Martin Engelbrecht says:

    I think any printing house should work on cash upfront when dealing with parties who have criminal tendencies.

  • Roelf Pretorius says:

    Yeah – but that is what the ANC has been doing for decades! They obviously only supported the constitutional system in order to get their hands on the levers of power, without having ANY regard whatsoever of supporting it afterwards. To just name a few instances where the ANC (and also their main off-spring, the EFF) is not supporting the constitution: One, both parties blatantly asserted that all public representatives should be accountable to an organisation above that of the public, in direct violation of the decision of the ConCourt that the individual MP’s should consider the opinion of their voters as more important than the political party they belong to. Secondly, we all know that Jacob Zuma violated the Constitution; even in the 1990’s he openly said that it is NOT the Constitution that counts, but only the ANC – yet the ANC then, two years later, had him elected as deputy President of both ANC and the country. Thirdly the whole system of cadre deployment is completely unconstitutional and corrupt; yet even the most moderate ANC leaders keep defending it. No, I think the country can only benefit if the ANC is liquidated, because that will force each one of its’ factions to contest the elections on it’s own (as they should have right from 1996 onwards – that was what Nelson Mandela openly said in front of all the ANC leaders & the cameras), and then our politics will start to function as it should have been. Even if the ANC then comes to power again, it will be as a formal coalition and every voter will have exposure to what is going on instead of all this misleading narratives that are contituously being sold to us.

  • Stuart Hulley-Miller says:

    We are now seeing the true danger of ANC ‘Cadre Deployment’. The ANC is not the ‘Government’. They are currently running the Government for the people of SA. The Civil Service is meant to run the Government with permanent professional employees who should be career people. The ANC is just a political party, as are so many others, and cannot be allowed to break laws and remain unaffected by legal processes. Arrest someone and follow the rule of law if they do not obey the courts ….. with great urgency.

  • Iam Fedup says:

    Unbelievable! (Although with these gangsters anything is believable.) The last time I saw behaviour like this was on “Narcos”, the series about the drug lords in Colombia and Mexico. We need to get rid of these b@st@rds by hook or by crook, because the next step is to steal the upcoming elections and go on a mass killing spree just as we have seen in many other dictatorships – including Zimbabwe.

  • Louise Louise says:

    The solution : treat the ANC like any other business entity. Close them down. Declare them insolvent and remove all employees from the business (this includes the ANC MPs). Life without the ANC would be far, far better than with them. But we must handle this ourselves. Do not bring in the UN or IMF or any other blood-sucking scumbag parasitical organisation…………

  • Jehan Bektir says:

    Is this the type of case for the constitutional court?

  • Val Ruscheniko says:

    The Squirrel needs to scratch around in some of Matashile’s sofas as well. Also if there’s the slightest whiff of involvement by the Viktor Vekselberg mafia benevolent fund to fix the ANC’s woes, then it’s definitely going to be goodbye to AGOA.

  • Mark Hammick says:

    I wonder if the ANC have settled their debts with SARS, UIF, etc.

  • Geoff Coles says:

    Somewhat premature with payment due only tomorrow!

    Cannot see any appeal to the Constitutional Court will be heard, it’s not a constitional issue.

  • Mario de Abreu says:

    Let this be a lesson to all those that are thinking of entering into any kind of business with the ANC.

  • Richard Robinson says:

    Not surprising…they can’t run a country, don’t act against state capture
    , ETC., ETC…

  • James Redpath says:

    Fantastic news that ANC is going out with a whimper ..kicked out of their Loot freely House ..and assets attached to the tune of R150 million..unless a billionaire..like their prez bails them out ..which isn’t happening so far ..but will ..it still shows voters what mamparas the ANC are .

  • Brian Doyle says:

    This judgement shows how the ANC is bankrupt, both financially and morally, and Ramaphosa has the cheek to say we should not criticize the ANC government

  • James Redpath says:

    Yes ..ANC have signed their own death warrant ..to happily accept banners worth R102 million from a ANC supporter..win ..then deny they had any contract at all..even after 9 judges in 3 provinces ruled that clearly they did owe that money for the goods they knowingly received and benefited from .Now they bar the Sheriff from doing his work ..and have now one full day left to comply fully ..or they lose ..assets ..and the right to run in elections.. perfectly appropriate ending to this ruining party that is just a sick joke that needs to end .

  • Jonathan N says:

    Most disturbing part of this is during an interview on SABC, the spokesperson for the ANC (look up the interview of yesterday with Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri on SABC) saying that they are not beholden to the constitutional court, the same court they seek relief from. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE.

  • Please liquidate the ANC … it may be a great blessing to SA

  • P B M .. says:

    I read an article in The Daily Investor today by Sygnia CEO, Magda Wierzycka, entitled, “South Africa becoming increasingly irrelevant” due to load shedding, crime, lack of new investment, amongst other woes….

  • Michael Thomlinson says:

    Can’t think why they don’t just ask Cyril for a handout. I am sure he has $5 mil tucked under his mattress ( the money in the couch is gone). Or surely they could ask uncle Putin – R102 mil is just petty cash for him.

  • htmchunu says:

    I think this matter will be thrown out of the constitutional court since it’s a civil issue. Law experts should attest to this. Anyway, this is my opinion.💃💃💃

  • Bob Kuhn says:

    The anc even steal form their own”our people” with impunity as they know that they are so stupid that they will keep on voting for more of the same false hope and promises tendered each election by their feudal chiefs!

  • Thabang Mats says:

    It’s no surprising that they’re refusing to settle their bills even though they lost the battle in court. They represent and promote lawlessness and and non-payment for services used.
    They must just do the right thing, they’re not above the law

  • Adam Partis says:

    I have no doubt that, miraculously, R100 million+ will be found in the nick of time, and any fear of an election contest without the ANC will simply evaporate.

  • Adam Partis says:

    I have no doubt that, miraculously, R100 million or more will be found in the nick of time, and any fear of an election contest without the ANC will simply evaporate.

  • Louise Wilkins says:

    This is hilarious!

  • Deirdre Lubbe says:

    Let me understand. The ANC can’t run their own finances, but are entrusted to run the country’s finances??? That explains everything.

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