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Government prepares for round two in fight over R50m Cuban donation

International Relations and Co-operation Minister Dr Naledi Pandor says the government is preparing to return to the North Gauteng High Court to fight AfriForum’s application to stop the government’s R50 million donation to Cuba. Picture: Henk Kruger-African News Agency (ANA)

International Relations and Co-operation Minister Dr Naledi Pandor says the government is preparing to return to the North Gauteng High Court to fight AfriForum’s application to stop the government’s R50 million donation to Cuba. Picture: Henk Kruger-African News Agency (ANA)

Published Mar 23, 2022

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The government is consulting its legal representatives and preparing its heads of arguments to return to the North Gauteng High Court in AfriForum’s bid to review the R50 million donation to Cuba.

On Tuesday, Judge Brenda Neukircher granted AfriForum an interdict stopping the payment of the R50m to the Cuban government, any agent or intermediary pending the final outcome of the lobby group’s application to review and set aside the Department of International Relations and Co-operation’s (Dirco’s) decision.

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AfriForum wants the high court to declare the donation unlawful and/or unconstitutional and the decision to be set aside.

Judge Neukircher directed AfriForum to institute its review proceedings and serve papers on Dirco, International Relations and Co-operation Minister Dr Naledi Pandor, her deputy Alvin Botes, the African Renaissance and International Co-operation Fund (ARF), National Treasury, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana and President Cyril Ramaphosa within 20 days of her order.

They were also all ordered to pay AfriForum’s costs.

“AfriForum represents the interests of the broad South African public.

“As they are successful in this application and there is therefore no reason why they should be out of pocket,” the judge said.

Judge Neukircher continued: “I am of the view that AfriForum has demonstrated the irreparable harm to be suffered were this interdict not be granted – the public purse stands to lose R50m which will affect every single South African on many levels.”

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Pandor said the department was studying the judgment.

”It is an interim order.

“There will be a return to court in 20 days’ time,” she said.

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She said they were consulting their legal representatives and preparing its heads of arguments

“And we want to make it clear that the ARF does not provide money to any beneficiary.

“We provide humanitarian aid, be it food, medical supplies, or other forms of support, no money is provided and the funds lie within the budget of the Department of International Relations and Co-operation and no other department.

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“Nevertheless, we are preparing to return to court,” Pandor said.

AfriForum pledged to continue its fight against what it called outrageous and wasteful expenditure, which is squandering taxpayers’ money.

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Political Bureau

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