The ANC was facing embarrassment on Tuesday after the Sheriff’s Office confirmed that it would be proceeding with the sale of hundreds of movable goods at the party’s headquarters to recover the money owed by the ANCWL to Sandton-based Atlantis Corporate Travel.
Sheriff for Johannesburg Central Marks Mangaba told Independent Media yesterday the sale was proceeding as scheduled today - a day after the ANC celebrated its 106th anniversary.
Mangaba, however, declined to comment further, saying he was not authorised to talk to the media.
According to the notice of the auction, 250 desks, 600 chairs, 10 fridges and microwaves, five lounge suites, 150 filing cabinets and 250 telephones, among others, are expected to be sold this morning at a public auction.
Proceeds are unlikely to cover the debt as it is estimated that only between R250000 and R500000 will be raised.
Former ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize’s financial report to last month’s national elective conference confirmed that the ANC was indebted to Atlantis Corporate Travel.
According to the report, which Independent Media has seen, the ANCWL was advised to enter into a payment agreement with the company but the party puts the amount of its indebtedness at R5.2m.
Atlantis Corporate Travel said it was forced to approach the Sheriff for Johannesburg Central to attach goods at the ruling party’s headquarters. The company made travel arrangements for ANCWL leaders, members and officials but the league stopped paying, forcing Atlantis to approach the High Court, Johannesburg, which ordered the ANC to pay R6.3m, including 13% interest in July last year.
Atlantis Corporate Travel’s legal department said: “The ANC has shown complete disregard for an order of court and we will not stop until they have paid the sum lawfully due and owing to us”.
The company said that despite having been granted an indulgence at every step in the process it was forced to obtain judgment against the ANC on July 13 last year.
“Our courteous requests for payment before, and subsequently, have been ignored and their actions dilatory,” said Atlantis Corporate Travel.
Despite being ordered to pay by the high court almost six months ago, the ANC still has not done so.
“By virtue of a warrant of execution issued at the instance of the execution creditor (Atlantis Corporate Travel) against the execution debtor (ANC trading as ANC Women’s League) the Sheriff attached the movable goods,” reads the notice of the sale.
According to Mkhize’s report, the ANC is also facing lawsuits by Protea Coin Security, which is demanding R1.5m for security services it rendered but the party is opposing the matter. The party has paid over R68m settling lawsuits in the period between 2013 and last year, including about R12.5m for the ANC Youth League’s national conferences in 2008 and 2011. In the same period, three liquidation applications were lodged against the ANC by the University of Limpopo, VWV Group and Indigo Logistics while similar court bids were brought against the ANCYL by Z2 Presentations, Atterbell Investments, trading as Gallagher Estate, and Taj Printers.
The ANC also settled R21.2m for the 2011 local government elections and another amount of nearly R13m for its centenary celebrations production. “In most cases the creditors demanded settlement agreements which the court then made orders of the court,” reads Mkhize’s report.
It also paid R750000 by agreement to settle all cases relating to disgraced late businessman Roger Kebble.
ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said the ANCWL is an autonomous structure running its own programmes. He told Independent Media to speak to the ANCWL directly.
ANCWL spokespersons Thoko Xasa and Fundi Skweyiya did not respond to requests for comment.
Last month, Xasa’s chief of staff in the tourism ministry Sango Velleman promised to bring Independent Media’s enquiry to her attention but no response has been forthcoming.
University of SA Emeritus Professor Shadrack Gutto said the key question was whether the ANCWL was registered as a separate legal entity or an ANC structure.
The ANC was responsible for assuming that its leagues are not registered separately. “From a legal point of view, the ANC can’t claim the leagues as its structures and then later say it is not legally liable,” Gutto said.