ActionSA Initiates Legal Proceedings to Obtain Ezulweni Investments Debt Settlement Agreement

ActionSA has initiated legal proceedings to obtain the R102 million debt settlement agreement entered into between the ANC and Ezulweni Investments. This is in addition to a written request to the IEC Political Party Funding Unit to investigate this agreement for alleged breaches of the Act. 

This arises from the funding disclosures on Thursday in which the ANC announced R10 million in donations in the quarter in which they publicly communicated the settlement of their R102 million debt.

The likelihood of any debt settlement being lawful under these circumstances are almost impossible given that it would require that:

– Interest on the debt must have been included in any settlement.

– No discount could have been offered of greater than R15 million.

– Settlement of the debt and interest would need to be paid by individual donors not exceeding R15 million each.

ActionSA’s legal proceedings have started with an application to the ANC in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act. We have no doubt that this will be ignored by the ANC, despite Ramaphosa responding on this issue in January this year by welcoming ActionSA to have access to the settlement agreement – an offer that has since been refused by the ANC Treasurer-General.

ActionSA will pursue this legal process as long as it takes because South Africans cannot simply be expected to have blind faith in the ANC’s promise that the settlement was legal. 6 months ago, the ANC was unable to pay employees outside of their offices and, suddenly, in December this picture changes to a party able to settle 9 digit debts and host 8 digit stadium events. South Africans know the ANC better than to accept this at face value.

This legal battle is necessary for the transparency of party funding to have any meaning. Currently, party funding debates in South Africa are dominated by political parties, who ignore the provisions of party funding given their propensity to commit the much more serious crime of corruption, obsessing about who legitimately and lawfully donates to political parties who comply with the Act.

It is time that South Africans see who is pulling the strings of parties like the ANC and how we, as a country, may well be funding the ANC through tenders to those they owe money to.