Minister of Tourism Tokozile Xasa. Picture: TSHEKO KABASIA
Minister of Tourism Tokozile Xasa. Picture: TSHEKO KABASIA

The ANC Women’s League has racked up a multimillion-rand accommodation bill but is too broke to pay it off despite the high court issuing an order directing the league to pay back the money.

An attempt by a travel agency that is owed R6.3m by the Women’s League to recoup the money by auctioning off the league’s assets was a flop.

Atlantis Corporate Travel, which has been the Women’s League’s go-to travel agency over the years, obtained a high court order against the ANC structure, following the league’s failure to pay for accommodation services secured through the agency.

The company tried to auction off the Women League’s assets, without much success, it said.

Atlantis Corporate Travel said the Women’s League had conceded that it was too broke to honour the repayments mandated by the High Court in Johannesburg.

The agency’s group legal head, Spencer Samuel, said the principal debt was R6.3m and went up to more than R8m when interest was factored in.

"We have been approached by them [the league] to discuss a settlement. They have effectively said they are broke and they can’t afford it. Hopefully, in the next meeting we will have more details," Samuel said.

At the next scheduled meeting between the parties, Atlantis Corporate Travel expected the league to give details about its ability to repay the debt. Samuel added that the company did not want to disrupt negotiations with the Women’s League but pointed out that the league had indicated it could not pay the R8m right away. "It is a lot of money and we have had to carry it for a long while. We are a [small] company and this debt accounts for three-quarters of the debtor’s book, so if we clear this [it would] … make a great difference to the business."

League spokeswoman and Tourism Minister Tokozile Xasa referred Business Day to the league’s secretary-general, Meokgo Matuba.

"There is nothing to discuss. We have a relationship with Atlantis and our position is very clear and we would not want to talk about that. We have structures to account to on our financial status and we will do that with the people we account to, not in the media," Matuba said.