ANC does not owe Ezulweni thugs, Mbalula slams sheriff

The high drama by the sheriff at Luthuli House on Monday seeking to attach ANC movable assets to recoup more than R100-million it owes Ezulweni Investments was nothing short of an unnecessary movie staged to embarrass the governing party.

This is the view of ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula at a media briefing in Luthuli House on Wednesday.

Mbalula said he was disturbed to watch “the movie” from far away from the country. He was on a working visit to Algeria when the sheriff came knocking.

Upon seeing social and mainstream media reports, said Mbalula, he phoned the sheriff and asked if it was necessary to stage “a movie” outside the ANC head office and to what end.

“When I was in Algeria people said Mbalula ran away … I called the sheriff and said what is this movie you are organising. He said ‘no, this is not a movie, the truck was just passing’,” said Mbalula.

“I said what is your problem, what is this movie you are organising there at Luthuli House with some truck there. How can you come with a small truck which can probably fit just one table. They come here for that movie and Mahlengi [Bhengu-Motsiri] must explain the whole day.

“At the end of the day, if we are found by the apex court that we must pay, we will pay these thugs. But how do we pay a debt that does not exist.”

Mbalula said the party was heading to Braamfontein as the last resort in the protracted legal wrangle with Ezulweni, because certain key evidence was ignored by the Supreme Court of Appeals (SCA) in Mangaung, Free State.

No contractual obligation

He added that it was fact that he, as then head of elections in 2019, as well as Paul Mashatile as finance boss never entered into a contractual obligation with the company.

Instead, Mbalula claimed, it was two junior staffers, one who worked in his office who connived and colluded with Ezulweni to “defraud the ANC”.

Mbalula said there was no way the ANC would ever procure election posters amounting to R102-million that Ezulweni claims it is owed.

The ANC had long taken steps to absolve itself from the claimed debt, he said, through the commissioning of a forensic investigation.

He said an investigation found that the two junior staffers had engaged in criminality and were bribed by Ezulweni, and that this is information the ANC sought to brought before court as evidence.

However, he continued, the SCA rejected the evidence, which he believes has direct impact to clear the ANC from the saga.

“It is not for the first time that people are conniving with our staff members to make money out of the organisation that is poor as the ANC.

“Now we must part with millions of rands that we could be using to pay people that have genuinely rendered services to the organisation.

“That is our battle with these people who have sat down, empowered by our staff members to defraud the ANC.”

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