ANC 'black ops' case not urgent - judge

2017-01-24 13:49
(File: ANC)

(File: ANC)

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Johannesburg – The High Court in Johannesburg has thrown out an urgent application against the ANC brought by businesswoman Sihle Bolani.

Judge Leoni Windell struck the matter off the roll on Tuesday, saying the application lacked urgency.

She told Bolani, who represented herself, that her claim appeared to be good, but that she should have first issued a summons.

"There is no reason to hear this on an urgent basis," Windell told Bolani.

The judge sympathised with Bolani, saying this case was one shared by millions of South Africans who were also owed money.

Bolani launched the application with an explosive affidavit claiming that the ANC owed her R2.2m for work done during a covert campaign targeting opposition parties in the lead up to the 2016 local government elections.

- Read more: The ANC's R50m election 'black ops'

Windell said there are serious issues in the application that need to be considered in a trial court.

Bolani told the court that she had no choice but to approach the courts over the longstanding matter, which had threatened her livelihood.

"I can’t pay my staff. It has been delay, after delay, after delay," she said, her voice quivering with emotion.

If it was up to the ANC, this matter would have dragged until eternity, she said.

Bolani also told the court that she had to represent herself in the matter because none of the legal firms she had approached wanted to risk going up against the ANC, out of fear of losing business with both the party and the state.

Counsel for the ANC , Advocate Frans Nalane, claimed there was no proof that the party was involved in the agreement, but the businesswoman insisted that the ANC had knowledge of her company’s role in its R50m covert campaign, with its general manger, Ignatius Jacobs, signing off on the agreement on an official ANC document.

'Committed to running clean campaigns'

ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa released a statement after the ruling, claiming the party had no contract with Bolani and had never appointed her to represent the ANC or do communication work for it.

"The African National Congress has always been, and remains, committed to running clean campaigns in all the elections we have participated in since 1994," said the party.

When asked about claims that the ANC’s general manager had signed off on the agreement, Kodwa said that only one PR company had been hired.

"Perhaps when we get to the merits of the case, the ANC representative [legal] will clarify," he said.

Read more on:    anc  |  politics  |  local elections 2016

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