The ANC’s assets, including its treasured headquarters, Luthuli House, could still be attached if the KZN-based marketing company, Ezulweni Investments, has its way.
The company, through its lawyers, has vowed to continue its bid to sell off the party’s assets to recover more than R150 million owed to it by the ruling party.
On Monday, Ezulweni Investments obtained a writ order from the Gauteng High Court, Johannesburg, giving the sheriff of the court the go-ahead to attach the ANC’s assets. This follows Friday’s SCA ruling which upheld an earlier ruling ordering the ANC to pay up or face the party’s assets being attached.
Dismissing the party’s appeal, Judge Trevor Gorven said the ANC’s version that it had no contract with Ezulwini Investments was “utterly untenable”.
This latest order follows two previous lower court rulings – in 2020 and 2022 – allowing Ezulwini to seize assets worth more than R102 million from the ANC after the party stubbornly refused to pay its hefty debt to the company.
The ANC has failed to comply with the SCA judgment to pay the company the more that R100 million it owes fot the printing of elections materials, including T-shirts, posters and other items for the party’s 2019 elections campaign.
The SCA upheld a decision of the Gauteng High Court which ruled against the ANC in the R102 million election banner dispute with the KZN-based printing company.
On Tuesday, in a statement the ANC through its spokesperson, Mahlengi Bhegu-Motsiri, said it will be taking the matter to the Constitutional Court in a bid to reverse the recent order.
“The ANC will appeal against the decision of the SCA in the Ezulweni Investment matter in the Constitutional Court of South Africa.
“Having studied the judgment, the ANC is of the view that the SCA did not consider the new evidence that makes it plain that there was no authorisation for the transactions in question, and certain implicated individuals misrepresented their positions and authority,” Bhengu-Motsiri said.
However, reacting to the news, the legal counsel representing Ezulweni, advocate Sharfique Sarlie, told “The Star” that they intend to attach assets belonging to the ruling party as a matter of urgency.
“We will be persisting with execution. The ANC is welcome to persist with abusing the court process and bring an urgent application to seek a stay of execution while they conjure or concoct an application for leave to the Concourt. Same will be vigorously opposed.
“Our client has hitherto been quite gracious in not seeking attorney and own client and other punitive anti-Stalingrad costs, including seeking costs against legal representatives who assist in such abuse. It will certainly seek this henceforth,” Sarlie said.
The ANC has again been ordered to pay the more than R100 million for banners for the 2019 elections.
Independent Media recently reported that the latest in a tug of war between the ANC and the marketing company has seen at least nine judges in three different courts having ruled the company had a binding contract with the ANC, which the party has denied.
Ezulweni previously sought to seize assets from the ANC after the party refused to pay. This was despite two judgments in the company’s favour.
Recently, the ANC applied to the SCA for leave to appeal against that ruling, but the appeal was dismissed and the party subsequently reinstated the appeal which was heard in early November.
Judge Trevor Gorven dismissed the appeal, ordering the ANC to pay the costs to the company, saying it is owed at least just over R150m, including legal costs.