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IEC Commences Investigation into ANC's R102m Ezulwini Debt Settlement

Published March 14, 2024
2 months ago

The South African political landscape has been rife with speculation after the African National Congress (ANC) recently cleared a remarkable R102 million debt with Ezulwini Investments. In response to concerns raised by the opposition party, Action SA, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has confirmed it will investigate the settlement terms under the provisions of the Political Party Funding Act.

In December, the ANC announced an out-of-court agreement with Ezulwini to avoid the attachment of its assets. This resolution came as a shock to many, considering that just six months prior, the ANC was reportedly unable to meet its salary obligations.

Action SA national chair Michael Beaumont has publicly backed the IEC's decision to probe the sudden debt alleviation, asserting the importance of transparency in the transaction. Beaumont emphasized the necessity for the disclosure of the funding sources, wary of the burden potentially falling on South African taxpayers through state contracts and tenders.

The investigation is set to cast light on the inner workings of political party funding in South Africa, a subject which has historically been shrouded in secrecy. The funding of the ANC has been of particular interest since the state capture inquiry highlighted extensive backchannel financing of the party's activities through lucrative tender awards to its donors.

The IEC has acknowledged receiving a letter from Action SA and assures that the matter is being handled as stipulated by the Political Party Funding Act 6 of 2018. This Act was introduced to promote transparency and to minimize corruption and undue influence in politics by regulating the disclosure of donations to parties.

As the IEC takes on this vital investigation, South Africans are watching closely, hungry for answers that will bring about a deeper understanding of the financial dynamics at play within their political system. The outcome of the investigation is poised to set a precedent in political party funding ethics and governance, potentially influencing future legislation and political conduct.

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