Former EFF councillors take party to Small Claims Court over party levy fees charged during term of office

Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Published Jun 23, 2023


Durban - A former councillor of the EFF in KwaZulu-Natal has dragged the red party to the Small Claims Court over a sum of R20 000 00 he claims is owed to him.

Ndumiso Vilakazi is the party’s former councillor in the Ilembe District Municipality and his service ended in 2017.

During his term in office, Vilakazi alleges that the party overcharged him for the party levy fee and he wants a refund.

He told IOL that he has been refunded some of the money, but he still wants more as he claims that the party owes him.

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After failing to reach an agreement with the party, Vilakazi took the matter to the Small Claims Court in KwaDukuza (Stanger) where he wants the party to be compelled to refund him.

According to official court records, his claim against the EFF was launched on Tuesday.

Narrating how they ended up being charged, Vilakazi said the party charged more than what is necessary and later dumped them yet they helped to build structures ahead of the 2016 local government elections, the first to be contested by the party that was formed in July 2013.

"We built structures from nowhere and led some of the party's most successful marches but we were later dumped," Vilakazi lamented.

Part of Vilakazi’s papers in the KwaDukuza Small Claims Court. Picture: Supplied

According to Vilakazi’s pay slip, the EFF levied a sum of R2 408.32 every month from his salary as a councillor and he says that was way above what they should have charged.

He argues that according to his calculations, from his net salary of R15 012.69 salary, the EFF should have levied R1501.69.

“So now calculate that R2408.32 while Nett Salary is: R 15 012.69

"It gives you R 1 501.69 that correct 10% which EFF was supposed to received from me.

"Meaning on that month EFF charged me more charging me R 2 408.32 instead of R 1 501.69 which gives me an amount that need to be refunded to me in that month is R 906.63 each month.

"Count from 2017 July up until Year 2020 July, you will see that EFF is owing us more money and they know that look they have refunded me although it not enough meaning they understand this amount I’m claiming,” he told IOL.

Vilakazi is not the only former councillor of the party in KwaZulu-Natal who is demanding a refund over the levy.

Also demanding a refund is Nkosinathi Khanyile, a former councillor of the party in the Endumeni (Dundee) local municipality in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

During his time in office, the EFF was deducting over R2 858.86 and he contends that the party was deducting that money based on what they earned including their benefits like cellphone allowance.

“It is for that reason they ended up charging us more than what they should have taken from us as party levy.

“We want this money to be paid back to us as it was illegally deducted, we are prepared to fight to get it back,” Khanyile told IOL.

The party's spokesperson in KwaZulu-Natal, Mazwi Blose said they have not received Vilakazi's summons and if they do, they will instruct their legal team to defend it.

"One, at a provincial level we have not seen or received any court papers from councillor Vilakazi claiming that he has taken the organisation to court.

"We have also queried with our national office in terms of the SG's (Secretary-General) office and your legal team, they have also not seen the court papers.

"Anyway, at a provincial level we don't administer the party levy of our public representatives, it is all handled at a national level.

"But what I will do is that if and when we receive that, the national office will obviously advise us, we will have to look at those papers and then respond accordingly in terms of what is written in those court papers.“

Blose said their public representatives are aware that they have to pay a levy.

"But for our public representatives they know, it's in the constitution of the EFF and it's in the party manual for public representatives to pay a portion or a percentage of their salary and contribute it back to the organisation.

"It's a standard procedure, so, it can't be that now that one has left the organisation or has been recalled from the council you say you are claiming back the party levy, it has never been done," Blose said.

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