ANC pursues criminal charges in Ezulweni Investments case

ANC National Spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri. Picture: Itumeleng English/Independent Newspapers

ANC National Spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri. Picture: Itumeleng English/Independent Newspapers

Published Dec 5, 2023


The ANC is pursuing criminal action against certain members after a forensic investigation into the multimillion-rand Ezulweni Investments 2019 elections campaign contract, revealed that they had acted irregularly.

This comes amid a five-year legal battle over the payment of the R150 million the ruling party allegedly owes to the KZN-based printing company which recently won an SCA case against the ANC.

On Monday, the sheriff acting on behalf of the company, was turned away and prevented from executing a writ of execution order to attach assets belonging to the ruling party.

However, speaking to members of the media on Monday, ANC national spokesperson, Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri revealed that the party had conducted an investigation, and would deal with those who “arrogated unto themselves” powers to authorise the transaction that might result in the party being liquidated should it fail to pay the contested invoice.

She added that there were several irregularities in the procurement of the services of Ezulweni Investments.

“In the case of Ezulweni Investments, there are several procurement processes and policy breaches that on the face of it are tantamount to irregularities and fraud. Therefore, in fulfilment of the ANC’s renewal agenda as mandated by the 55th National Conference, we believe, it is pertinent to pursue all possible legal remedies in an effort to reverse questionable actions of the recent past,” she said.

Bhengu-Motsiri said an internal investigation indicated that some individuals and members of the party acted without proper authorisation when they approved this deal.

“We found some culpability out of the forensic report. We have since referred criminal charges and those are now under way.

“Some of these may not be informed by the full understanding of the work we are doing to improve governance within the party as part of our renewal agenda,” she said.

On Friday last week, the SCA dismissed, with costs, the ANC’s appeal against a high court judgment that the party was responsible for the outstanding amount of R102m for the 2019 election material.

The SCA also rejected the party’s recent application to lead new evidence during its appeal in the form of a forensic report, ostensibly done by EMS Forensics into the procurement of the highly contentious contract.

This was after the ANC had gone to the SCA to appeal against the judgment of the High Court in Johannesburg that ordered the party to reimburse Ezulwini Investments money used to supply posters and banners for the party.

Bhengu-Motsiri said the party had no fear of being liquidated as it had strong cadres and branch members who were willing to help the ANC should there be a need to step in and save the day.

She said the ANC would be guided by the outcomes of the Constitutional Court on how to proceed.

Speaking to The Star on Monday, founder of Ezulweni Investment, Renash Ramdas said that the courts had, on more than four occasions, found in his favour.

“It is proven with regards to the case and we are going to oppose the ANC’s appeal at the Constitutional Court because there is no constitutional matter. We started this matter at the Johannesburg High Court and we went up to the Supreme Court.

“There have been appeals and there have been nine judges who have ruled in our favour. We are patient and the ANC knows as well that they have no case. Why would they make me an offer to settle if they were right in the first place,” he said.