It’s Time for the IEC to Investigate the ANC

ActionSA notes donation disclosures for the 3rd quarter of the current financial year published today. Of particular note is that the ANC disclosed total donations of R10 million from Chancellor House.

The quarter under question is the same quarter under which the ANC issued a 2-line press statement in December last year announcing that their R102 million debt settlement with Ezulweni Investments had been settled. Despite a public commitment from President Ramaphosa to avail the details of the settlement, no such information has ever been provided.

Today, through disclosing donations of R10 million in the quarter, the ANC has confirmed that ActionSA’s suspicions of the Ezulweni Debt Settlements were warranted. The likelihood is that R102 million debt settlement, plus interest over the 4 years it accrued, could not have been funded by a donation disclosure of R10 million.

The requirements of the Party Funding Act would require the following of any debt settlement to have been legal:

  1. Interest on the debt must have been included in any settlement.
  2. No discount could have been offered of greater than R15 million.
  3. Settlement of the debt and interest would need to be paid by individual donors not exceeding R15 million each.

The fact that no donation-in-kind was reported by the ANC from Ezulweni Investments would suggest that the company did not discount the settlement by even as much as R100 000 – an unlikelihood in the settlement of such a large debt. Furthermore, the likelihood that the terms of a debt settlement could be funded by donations valued at R10 million (against R102 million plus interest over 4 years) is impossible.

ActionSA will again write to the IEC to demand that it initiates an investigation into the ANC’s debt settlement with Ezulweni Investments. The IEC cannot continue to turn a blind eye to obvious fact that the ANC has settled a debt that it cannot possibly have afforded in terms of its donation disclosures. This can only mean that the ANC has a funding arrangement with Ezulweni Investments that falls outside of their disclosures or have promised future revenues through the provision of tenders from the state given that ActionSA has already exposed Ezulweni Investments of receiving an events services contract from a municipality in KwaZulu-Natal.

Should the IEC not investigate this matter, it will render the Party Funding Act meaningless. Those parties that adhere to the rule of law comply while those who have demonstrated a propensity for corruption ignore the provisions. Similarly, great and unjust criticism is levelled against donors who lawfully and transparently donate towards political change in South Africa while no attention is placed on those who fund corrupt parties away from public scrutiny.

ActionSA is poised to initiate legal proceedings to obtain the information in the debt settlement agreement with Ezulweni Investments because the circumstances under which the ANC went from being unable to pay salaries to funding large stadium events and settling 9-digit debts cannot be a matter of trust.