Durban - Several business people and artists are gunning for the leader of the newly formed Azanian Revolutionary Congress (Azarco) over unpaid debts incurred when the party launched with much fanfare in March.
The newly formed party, which pledged to prioritise the needs of the people, is led by Durban businessman and herbalist, Bheki Ngubane.
It was launched at the historic Curries Foundation in Durban, where other political and labour movements like the National Freedom Party were launched in 2011 and Cosatu in 1985.
During its launch, the political party engaged caterers, public relations companies, artists, public address systems, the stage and decor.
@IOL— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) June 20, 2023
NEWS: Service providers who rendered services when Durban businessman Bheki Ngubane launched his party, the Azanian Revolutionary Congress (AZARCO) in March are claiming that they have not been paid. The 16 service providers ranging from caterers to security companies pic.twitter.com/ZhE03drgwH
In total, 17 service providers are owed a combined sum of R246,200 and among the groups owed is Afrosoul which performed during the launch.
Among the other artists owed money are Zakwe, Amaroto and Yellow Bone.
One service provider told IOL that whenever they call Ngubane to enquire about payments he apparently made empty promises, telling them payment would reflect in their bank accounts in 48 hours.
“He has been giving us this story ever since were rendered the service in March in Durban when he launched his party.
“Sometimes when we call him after the 48 hours has lapsed to enquire about the payments, he just ignores us.
“This is bad and our businesses are collapsing because we rendered the services hoping to be paid soon,” one service provider said.
Another service provider who is also a member of the newly formed political party told IOL that when he enquired about the payment he was threatened with expulsion.
“He just told me that he will expel me from his party, I feel so frustrated by this,” said the man, who is still working with the political party.
The service providers that spoke to IOL about the matter asked not to be named, fearing Ngubane would victimize them.
Ngubane confirmed to IOL that the service providers had not been paid and attributed the delay to overseas funds.
“I explained to them that we are still waiting for funds that are coming from overseas since we get funds there.
“There are long processes to release these funds which involve the Reserve Bank and our local commercial bank, hence there is this delay.
“I explained that to them and I expected them to understand our issue, but they are now rushing to newspapers.
“I believe they are not being reasonable since the delay has been only for two months, in government you can wait for a longer period,” he said.
Ngubane added that he feels that his political opponents are using service providers to tarnish the name of his party.
“This has to do with politics and my political opponents.
“Again, let me tell you that I told the service providers that we must postpone the launch since the funds have not arrived.
“It was them who insisted that we must go ahead with this launch even though the funds were not there,” Ngubane claimed while speaking to IOL.