Ja, ANC can only pay so little

The ANC has said its financial woes are being exaggerated and that talk of it being bankrupt is way off the mark. (Madelene Cronje)

The ANC has said its financial woes are being exaggerated and that talk of it being bankrupt is way off the mark. (Madelene Cronje)

The ANC was unable to pay an acknowledged debt of about R6.5-million. And its financial position was so dire that it would be able to pay – at most – R150 000 a month in instalments to settle its debt, the party said on Thursday, December 11.

“We had a discussion. At the moment the amount we can pay, which we have communicated to our lawyer, is R150 000 [a month],” ANC finance manager Nhlanhla Mabaso told an official inquiry at the offices of the Johannesburg master of the high court.

Asked whether that was really the best the party could do, Mabaso was firm: “Looking at the situation at the moment, ja.”

The ANC has, in recent public statements, said its financial woes were being exaggerated and that talk of it being bankrupt was way off the mark.

But in a short hearing on Thursday, and under oath, Mabaso made no such assertions, even when facing the threat of assets being seized from ANC.

Payment demands
“Please tell your superiors that they can, in the very near future, expect a few trucks to arrive at Luthuli House for the purposes of demanding payment,” lawyer Alec Brooks, acting for liquidators, told Mabaso.

Later, only half-jokingly, Brooks warned Mabaso that, should the ANC not come up with a better offer, “you will be sitting on the floor”.

The ANC has admitted that it owes Flywell Travel Fordsburg R4.97-million plus interest for the past two years.

Flywell Fordsburg was established in 1991, as part of a group created in 1963. Directors and former staff of Flywell Fordsburg referred the Mail & Guardian to Brooks, who said he did not speak to the media.

But during the inquiry in the winding up of the company, Brooks appeared alternately baffled and outraged by the ANC’s claims.

“Are you telling me that the situation is so dire that the ANC cannot afford more than R150 000 a month?” Brooks demanded of Mabaso.

“Ja,” Mabaso replied.

“That is simply not good enough,” Brooks replied.

Phillip de Wet

Phillip de Wet

Phillip de Wet writes about politics, society, economics, and the areas where these collide. He has never been anything other than a journalist, though he has been involved in starting new newspapers, magazines and websites, a suspiciously large percentage of which are no longer in business. PGP fingerprint: CF74 7B0F F037 ACB9 779C 902B 793C 8781 4548 D165 Read more from Phillip de Wet

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