/ 30 May 2008

Madisha: SACP favoured cash to foil creditors

The South African Communist Party (SACP) has on several occasions taken large donations in cash in order to foil its creditors, according to former Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) president Willie Madisha.

He made the claim in an article in the Cape Times on Friday, in which he sought to ”set the record straight” on events surrounding his axing.

He was dismissed after a businessman laid a complaint with the police that though he handed a R500 000 donation to Madisha to pass on to SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande, there was no record of the cash.

Nzimande has denied ever getting the money; Madisha maintains he handed it over.

Madisha, who at the time was an SACP central committee member, wrote that this was ”obviously an issue that needs to be investigated”.

But, he said, the SACP had, because of its ”fragile financial situation”, on several occasions received large donations in cash.

”Had such money gone through the party’s books, creditors might have taken it, so there was always a call for cash,” he said.

”I was part of this, as were other members of the SACP.

”We didn’t see it as wrong because our priority was keeping the party afloat at a time when we were mired in debt.”

Madisha said he recognised now that he was naive to have been involved, but he could not see how this had anything to do with both the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union or Cosatu. Since the controversy erupted, he has been axed as the head of both the union and the federation.

He is fighting the axings in the Equality Court.

Last week, after a delay of almost a year, the SACP finally paid a R1-million debt to the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth for use of university facilities for the party’s national congress in July last year.

The university went to court last November after the party failed to honour numerous promises to pay. — Sapa