Cape Town - The City of Cape Town’s oversight committee says it is unable to collect the R1.5 million that the ANC in the Western Cape owes the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), one of the municipality’s entities.
“It is out of our mandate. We are not debt collectors for the CTICC. The board of the CTICC has a responsibility to collect the debt and we need to make sure the board does not deviate from its debt recovery policy,” said William Mxolose, of the municipal public accounts committee.
But the city has not ruled out the possibility that Luthuli House could be asked to cover the debt.
The CTICC board had been advised that the ANC Western Cape was a separate branch with few assets, so it would not be possible to attach the assets of other branches of the party to recoup the debt. The municipal public accounts committee noted that it was reviewing this position, however.
The debt dates back to 2011 when Fezile Calana, as treasurer of the ANC Western Cape, signed a contract to hire the CTICC for the party’s provincial elective conference.
The fee was R2m, and on February 11, 2011, Calana confirmed that a deposit of R1m had been paid.
The cheque bounced as there were insufficient funds in the account of the drawer, listed as Calana’s company.
After several unsuccessful payments were made, the CTICC handed the matter to its attorneys. A default judgment was handed down in March, and a writ of execution issued. The ANC negotiated a payment plan with the CTICC, with instalments of R350 000 a month.
But only nominal payments were made, and, in July, ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe was told about the outstanding R1.5m.
Louise Muller, of the city’s finance directorate, said in her report to the municipal public accounts committee that when the sheriff attached Calana’s assets to recover the debt, the value was only R15 000. As it would cost more than this to store these assets, the CTICC has agreed to continue with standard debt collection procedures.
Councillor Stuart Diamond pointed out that Calana continued to do business and the city should look at getting a warrant to attach any new assets that might have accumulated.
Muller said that in Mpumalanga, the ANC Youth League had been threatened with sequestration for outstanding debt. The national office of the ANC had stepped in and settled the debt.
But Muller said it would be costly to take the ANC Western Cape to court and there would be no guarantee that the money would be recovered.
“The (CTICC) chief executive continues to pursue a meeting with the ANC provincial leadership to… find an amicable solution.”