Dirco preparing to fight its case in court after R50m Cuban aid interdicted

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Minister Naledi Pandor. (Photo: DIRCO)
Minister Naledi Pandor. (Photo: DIRCO)
  • International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor and her department are preparing to head back to court.
  • This is after the Gauteng High Court granted AfriForum's interdict of government's R50 million aid donation to Cuba.
  • Chair of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation, Supra Mahumapelo, is "not happy" about the ruling.

Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Naledi Pandor, and her department are preparing to "return to court" after the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria interdicted government's planned R50 million donation to Cuba.

On Tuesday, Judge Brenda Neukircher granted the urgent interdict, pending the final outcome of an application to be instituted by AfriForum to review and set aside the decision to donate an amount of R50 million to the Cuban government, or the final outcome of proceedings to declare that the donation is unlawful and/or unconstitutional, News24 reported.

"The ministry, as well as the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, have noted the interim order granted in the Pretoria High Court, pausing implementation of the humanitarian aid that South Africa had agreed it would provide to the Republic of Cuba," Pandor said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

"We are studying the judgment. It is an interim order. There will be a return to court in 20 days' time. We are consulting our legal representatives and preparing our heads of arguments.

"And we want to make it clear that the African Renaissance fund does not provide money to any beneficiary. We provide humanitarian aid; be it food, medical supplies, or other forms of support. No money is provided and the funds lie within the budget of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation and no other department." 

Pandor added:

Nevertheless, we are preparing to return to court.

Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation, Supra Mahumapelo, had also noted Neukircher's ruling.

READ | SANDF's Cuban headache: R1.3bn for two contracts that offer zero value

The committee said it would study the judgment and respond at an appropriate time.

"Of course we are not happy, as this outcome will likely have major implications on other progressive international solidarity work that South Africa still has to do with countries like Cuba," Mahumapelo said, according to a statement.

The committee's responsibility would be to look at how the department would respond, particularly as it related to the Constitution and AfriForum's views on solidarity work and the relationship between the arms of state.

The committee will meet with Pandor on Friday as part of its oversight programme over the department.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Are you going to keep wearing a mask following the announcement that it is no longer required under law?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
No ways, I'm done
41% - 2749 votes
Yes, I still want to be cautious
21% - 1419 votes
Only certain circumstances
38% - 2512 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.