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Ezulweni relaxes deadline for ANC to settle debt

Company to oppose party’s application for leave to appeal

Koena Mashale Journalist
Luthuli House, ANC headquarters in Johannesburg
Luthuli House, ANC headquarters in Johannesburg
Image: Veli Nhlapo

Ezulweni Investments has granted the ANC a second chance to devise a payment plan and settle its debt.

The company said it would delay the initiation of liquidation proceedings until the close of business on Tuesday, December 12.

The company is owed more than R100m by the ANC for banners and posters delivered for the party’s national elections campaign in 2019. Ezulweni has been embroiled in a bitter court battle with the governing party for four years.

In a statement released on Thursday, CEO Renash Ramdas said while providing this extended deadline, the company was concurrently preparing an opposing affidavit to challenge the ANC’s application for leave to appeal.

“As stated previously, the application (ANC’s leave for appeal) is without merit or substance. In due course, Ezulweni will file its opposing affidavit, and the opposing papers will speak for themselves,” said Ramdas.

ANC spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri said she had not seen the statement and therefore could not comment.

Ramdas explains that the temporary halt on liquidation proceedings is a gesture acknowledging the sacrifices made by the party in liberating the country.

“This is to afford concerned loyalists of the ruling party some time and opportunity to resolve the dispute or take cession of the debt, putting on hold the intention to proceed with the liquidation proceedings,” said Ramdas.

This decision follows the company’s previous deadline of Wednesday this week, in which they sought a payment security from the ruling party.

“In telephonic engagements between Ezulweni’s attorney Shafique Sarlie and the ANC’s attorney Ephraim Malapane before the deadline, Sarlie was assured that the ANC, specifically, the secretary-general, was in discussion with Malapane. Attorneys expected timely instructions from their client, which would then be communicated to Ezulweni’s attorneys. Astonishingly, and quite bizarrely, by the close of business on Wednesday, no reply whatsoever had been received from the ANC’s attorneys,” said Ramdas.

He added that loyalists of the ANC had reached out to Ezulweni expressing a desire to resolve the matter.

“They have described the manner in which the secretary-general, delegated the task of dealing with this matter, is ‘insane and irrational’. They have beseeched Ezulweni not to commence liquidation proceedings against the ANC, fearing the further reputational damage it will do to the ANC and the dire implications such proceedings will have for the ruling party,” said Ramdas.

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