Pay my salary, Agang’s ex-spin doctor pleads

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iol news pic iec agang 259 INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS Leader of Agang Mamphela Ramphele. Picture: Chris Collingridge

Johannesburg - Former AgangSA spin doctor Thabo Leshilo is facing financial ruin after his former party failed to honour its promise to pay his December salary.

Leshilo, who was fired by Dr Mamphela Ramphele’s party earlier this year, is the latest victim of the fledgling political party’s financial crisis.

The party performed dismally in this year’s elections, securing only two seats in Parliament.

Leshilo said this week that his financial situation was “very bad” after he defaulted on payments for his house, his children’s school fees and had his cellphone suspended by the service provider.

“People cannot reach me because that was my personal cellphone and we never got cellphone allowances,” he said. “I am struggling to pay my bond and I have not paid for my electricity, which could be cut off soon.”

He has approached the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration.

Leshilo said all he wanted was for the party to pay him his December salary and the unpaid expenses he had incurred.

Agang was pleading poverty but the party had managed to raise money to pay the Independent Electoral Commission to register as a political party to contest elections.

This is not the first time Agang has been alleged to be broke and unable to meet its financial obligations.

In January the Sunday Independent, sister publication of Saturday star, reported that the party could not pay its senior managers’ December salaries because it had to make one-off payments to service providers for its election campaign.

Ironically Leshilo at the time defended the party, stating: “The party is financially secure and has not run out of money. We are expecting additional funding soon and management will be paid once the funds are cleared.”

However this week he blamed the party for putting him in the “financial mess” he was in.

 

Ramphele raised eyebrows last year when she publicly released details about her financial assets as part of her election campaign, claiming she was worth about R55 million. She urged President Jacob Zuma to follow her example.

Ramphele will not represent her party in Parliament, stating she was “taking a break” to reflect on her party’s “disappointing” performance at the polls.

Agang chairman Mike Tshishonga said he was made aware of Leshilo’s application to the CCMA this week but the party had asked its Chief Operating Officer Andrew Gasnolar to deal with it.

Several attempts by the Saturday Star to get comment from him went unanswered. - Saturday Star



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