ActionSA Seeks Investigation into the ANC Settlement with Ezulweni Investments

Today ActionSA wrote to IEC Chief Executive for Party Funding, Mr George Mahlangu, seeking an investigation in terms of Section 14 of the Party Funding Act into the ANC’s settlement of an over R102 million debt with Ezulweni Investments.

On 22 December 2023 the ANC issued a two-line statement indicating that a settlement had been reached in the best interests of both parties. No details were provided in terms of the nature of this settlement.

Despite the fact that this debt arises from a 2019 procurement of election materials, the settlement of the liability in December 2023 places it squarely in the realm of the provisions Party Funding Act which includes in its definition of a donation-in-kind as the provision of any service or good at a below market value. As such:

  1. any discount agreed to by Ezulweni Investments of the R102 million cannot legally exceed the R15 million donation limit;
  2. any payments made by ANC donors to Ezulweni Investments would constitute donations-in-kind to the ANC; and
  3. any payments made to Ezulweni Investments by any individual ANC donor cannot exceed R15 million and would require no less than 7 donors to legally settle this debt.

ActionSA has taken this step because South Africans must know how this debt was settled and whether it was settled in terms of a lawful arrangement. It is also necessary to understand which donors have settled this debt and whether these donors, or Ezulweni Investments will benefit from future business with the state.

In our letter to the IEC, ActionSA has voiced its impatience for what is emerging as a pattern of selective adherence to the provisions of the Party Funding Act. While ActionSA continues to abide by the provisions of the Act and achieve clean audits each year, other parties demonstrate an apparent pattern of ignoring the law with impunity. The disclosures in the quarter prior to and after the EFF rally at FNB Stadium, an event rumoured to cost over R70 million, revealed no donations made to the party.

These concerns are precisely why ActionSA’s papers filed in response to the litigation brought by My Vote Counts argued the case for empowering the IEC to investigate cases of apparent non-compliance with the Act. The silence of My Vote Counts in respect of these matters has been deafening.

The revelations of the State Capture Commission of Inquiry, which paved the way for the Party Funding Act, revealed in great detail how the ANC funded its activities through its donors’ receiving tenders. The notion that this R102 million settlement of its debt should be accepted at face value is offensive to a country that suffers under the impact of decades of greed and corruption.