ANC loses SCA bid over seizure of assets for failure to pay R102 million for election material

The ANC has lost its appeal in the Supreme Court of Appeal to have its assets seized. Picture: Timothy Bernard/ Independent Newspapers

The ANC has lost its appeal in the Supreme Court of Appeal to have its assets seized. Picture: Timothy Bernard/ Independent Newspapers

Published Nov 24, 2023


The African National Congress (ANC) has failed in its bid to overturn a High Court judgment that ordered the seizure of its assets after failing to pay a marketing company R102 million for work done during the elections.

The Supreme Court of Appeal ruled on Friday that the appeal by the ANC has been dismissed.

The ANC had gone to the SCA to appeal the judgment of the South Gauteng High Court that ordered the party to pay Ezulwini Investments for money used to supply posters and banners for the party.

However, when the party failed to pay, it sought an order to attach its assets at Luthuli House in Johannesburg to recover the funds.

The posters and banners that were supplied by the company were for the 2019 election campaign.

In the judgment on Friday, the SCA said the ANC had denied entering into an agreement with Ezulwini Investments for R102m to supply posters and banners.

It said although the appeal by the ANC had lapsed, it agreed to reinstate it. The SCA also refused the ANC to admit further evidence on the matter.

The judgment said that head of Ezulwini Investments, Renash Ramdas had agreed to provide material for the elections in 2019.

Ramdas had met with ANC officials at Garden Court hotel in Johannesburg and they agreed that he will work on the election material. In its defence in court, the ANC said there was no agreement reached with Ramdas.

After the elections Ramdas sent the ANC an invoice of R102m. But the ANC failed to pay his company, despite promises.

In its judgment, the SCA said the version of the ANC was contradictory.

“The denials of the ANC fall into the category of bald, uncreditworthy denials designed to create fictitious disputes of fact. The version of the ANC, accordingly, does not raise bona fide factual disputes. It does not warrant that the matter should have been decided on its version. On the contrary, the court of first instance and the full court were amply justified in basing their findings on the version of Ezulwini where the two versions conflicted,” reads the judgment.

“One must therefore proceed on the basis that an agreement was reached on February 20 on the terms contended for between Ramdas, on the one part, and (ANC officials) Mabaso and Nkholise, on the other.

“In the result, I find that on February 20 Nkholise had actual authority to conclude the agreement in question. That is the end of the matter,” said the SCA.

It said it dismissed the ANC’s application to provide evidence because it was incomplete.

The SCA said this was a forensic report by a forensic firm, which probed the procurement process. But the report was not attached to the court papers, only the summary. The summary of the report was not even signed, said the court.

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