Court authorises auction of ANC assets to recover R102m debt

It may be a unique chance to own a piece of history after the high court authorised the sheriff on Friday to seize and publicly sell in an auction the ANC’s movable goods.

The governing party’s 29 years of broken promises may not be up for bid, but KwaZulu-Natal-based promotions company Ezulweni Investments could still sell vehicles, artwork, electronics, and other items to recover R102-million debt.

At least one bid would surely be open for opposition parties, a reminder of what not to do when in power.

Ezulweni had a contract with the ANC in 2019 to supply posters and banners for the party’s general elections campaign. However, payment was not forthcoming, forcing the company to approach the courts.

Since then, two judgments were in favour of Ezulweni, one in September 2020 and the other in June 2022. The ANC threatened to appeal, but failed to file papers.

“The [ANC’s] special leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal [had] automatically lapsed on account of its failure to file its heads of argument and practice note within six weeks of the filing of the record,” reads the writ of execution that the high court in Johannesburg issued on May 26.

The ANC was expected to file its court papers by March 28 but failed. The registrar at the Supreme Court of Appeal confirmed on April 4 that the application had therefore lapsed.

Ezulweni could liquidate the ANC if this did not work, and the ANC may have to declare bankruptcy if liquidation proceedings are launched.

The ANC had more than R300-million of immovable assets on its register at some point, but it is not clear how much is left, as the party has taken more financial strain since then.

The assets consist of regional and provincial offices throughout the country, in Lusaka and overseas.

Two years ago, the governing party said it was considering selling some of the assets to help deal with the payment of staff salaries and debt owed to third parties.

In November 2021, ANC staff members embarked on a protest at the ruling party’s headquarters, Luthuli House to raise their concerns. They also called for the removal of top officials from their positions.

ANC staff committee chairperson Mvusi Mdala said at the time that the ruling party had not issued any form of communique on why salaries had not been allocated.

An earlier strike in September of that year was called off for staff to focus on winning the municipal elections scheduled for later in 2021.

Mdala had said at the time that staff member who had not been paid for three months would embark on a nationwide strike.


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