ANC funds ‘used for wrong purpose’

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Cape Town - Fired ANC parliamentary staffers have claimed in the Labour Court that the party diverted statutory funds to finance its 2009 election campaign.

At the time the ANC caucus retrenched 89 staff members.

Fifteen employees took the party to court for alleged unfair dismissal.

On Tuesday, advocate Alec Freund, representing the staffers, questioned former ANC chief whip Nyami Booi in the Labour Court on statutory funds allegedly diverted to pay Oryx Media a total of R7.4 million to, among other things, assist with the party’s election campaign.

R15.6m was allegedly also diverted for accommodation and travelling.

Freund told the court that party constituency allowances and party administration funds were not supposed to be used for election and advertising.

“The funds were used for graffiti, floppy hats, airfares and hotels,” said Freund.

Booi said it would have been brought to his attention if the funds had been diverted and “that he was not aware of it”.

Freund submitted in court that Booi may be party to yet another offence.

In 2009, Booi was one of 31 MPs who pleaded guilty to abusing parliamentary travel warrants in the so-called Travelgate saga.

At the time he was fined R50 000 (or five years’ jail), and given until January 2014 to pay the money in monthly instalments of R1 000.

Booi told the court that Freund did not know what he was talking about and had no knowledge of how Parliament’s system runs.

“He doesn’t know what he’s talking about, he never worked for Parliament and I don’t want to engage with someone who has never worked for Parliament and doesn’t know how its systems work.”

Booi denied any knowledge of the figures spent on travelling expenditure which included hotel accommodation, flights and rental cars.

The case continues.

Cape Argus

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