Ezulweni gives ANC more time to pay debt of over R100m
However, the company will oppose the ANC’s application for leave to appeal
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 December 12.
The company says it 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 that 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 said 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,” he said.
This decision follows the company’s previous deadline of Wednesday this week, in which it sought a payment security from the governing 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 [Fikile Mbalula] — was in discussion with Malapane. Attorneys expected timely instructions from their client, which would then be communicated to Ezulweni’s attorneys,” said Ramdas.
“Astonishingly, by the close of business on Wednesday, no reply whatsoever had been received from the ANC’s attorneys.”
Loyalists of the ANC had reached out to Ezulweni expressing a desire to resolve the matter, Ramdas added.
“They have described the manner in which the secretary-general delegated the task of dealing with this matter as ‘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,” Ramdas said.
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