The African National Congress (ANC) will appeal the decision of the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in the matter involving a KwaZulu-Natal-based company, Ezulweni Investments, in the Constitutional Court of South Africa. This comes after the SCA upheld a decision of the Gauteng High Court which ruled that the ruling party was liable to pay R102m election banner Ezulwini supplied to them ahead of the 2019 general elections.
ANC spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri said that having studied the judgment, they are of the view that the SCA did not consider the new evidence tabled. "The SCA did not consider the new evidence that has emerged from the forensic report which reveals crucial evidence that makes it plain that there was no authorisation for the transaction in question and certain implicated individuals misrepresented their positions and authority," Bhengu-Motsiri said. Three different courts have now ruled that Ezulweni had a binding contract with the ANC, a fact the ruling party says they will challenge in the highest court in the land. In the SCA ruling on Friday, Judge Trevor Gorven said the party's version that it had no contract with Ezulweni Investments was morally indefensible. "The denials of the ANC fall into the category of bald, uncreditworthy denials designed to create fictitious disputes of fact,' Judge Gorven said.
On 23 May, the ANC was issued a writ by the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg, which ordered the "execution of movable goods of the debtor, the ANC, at Luthuli House to cause the realisation, by public auction, of R102 465 000, together with the interest of 10.25% per annum from 9 May 2019 to 31 August 2020". Before the matter was heard by the SCA, Ezulweni won two cases against the ANC: The first being the main application seeking R102 465 000 in 2020 and the second an appeal in 2022. In May, ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula said the ANC saw this case as an example of fraud. He was the ANC's head of elections when the contract was agreed to. On Friday, the SCA ruled that the ANC's appeal should be dismissed with the costs of two counsels. The party had failed to convince the court that there were factual disputes that interfered with the substance of its contract with Ezulweni.
Yesterday, Ezulweni lawyers told IOL that their client will go ahead and attach assets at the party's headquarters in Johannesburg despite the ANC challenging the SCA ruling. The company's legal council advocate Sharfique Sarlie said that they will be attaching the assets as a matter of urgency. "We will be persisting with execution. The ANC is welcome to persist with abusing the court process and bring an urgent application to seek a stay of execution while they conjure or concoct an application for leave to the Constitutional Court. The same will be vigorously opposed. Our client has hitherto been quite gracious in not seeking an attorney and own client and other punitive anti-Stalingrad costs, including seeking costs against legal representatives who assist in such abuse. It will certainly seek this henceforth," Sarlie was quoted.