Bill still owed for earlier congress

2012-01-07 00:00

AHEAD of the reported R100 million splurge on its centenary celebrations, the African National Congress in the Western Cape still owes a hefty R1,8 million for hiring the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) for its provincial congress last year.

The party has defaulted on a court judgment which ordered it to settle this amount in instalments, almost a year after the congress was held in February 2011.

The Democratic Alliance’s Ian Neilson tweeted:

“Will the ANC pay their creditors in Bloemfontein? They still owe the Cape Town International Convention Centre R1,8 m for a 2011 conference.”

Western Cape ANC provincial secretary Songezo Mjongile said the issue of the debt is being dealt with between the ANC and the creditors.

The chief operating officer for the CTICC, Joey Pather, who is abroad on holiday, confirmed through his personal assistant that the party still owes CTICC for the February conference.

He said the CTICC has a judgment against the ANC for the outstanding amount.

“In terms of the settlement agreement signed by the ANC in December 2011, the first monthly instalment of R100 000 was due on December 1 and every subsequent monthly instalment of R100 000 is due by the 7th of each month,” said Pather.

He said no payment has been received from the ANC for the first instalment or the second instalment yet.

“The reason given by the ANC for delaying payment is that there are no funds available, they are awaiting funds,” he added.

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe responded by saying that they are aware of the debt.

“The problem with negative people is they say if you owe ‘x’ you must not celebrate your history,” Mantashe said.

“How logical is that? When you are a negative person, you are sick. You never look forward.

“This is a very strange question [that you are asking],” he told Weekend Witness.

Meanwhile, the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) confirmed yesterday that the ANC is paying for 12 trains to transport supporters from all over the country to the celebrations in Bloemfontein.

Prasa has laid on special trains that will arrive in the city early tomorrow morning and leave again in the late evening after the party is over.

Party members travelling on these trains will not be charged, but sleeper trains from Durban and the Premier Classe sleeper from Johannesburg are not free.

A ticket on the ordinary sleeper from Durban cost R500, while the more luxurious Premier Classe cost R2 020.

• thobani.ngqulunga@witness.co.za

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