AfriForum to ANC: Pay your rent, not your friends

The civil rights organisation AfriForum today appeared in the North Gauteng High Court Pretoria to obtain an urgent interdict to prevent the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) from making a R50 million donation to Cuba. Judgement is reserved. The application to obtain the interdict is the Part A of AfriForum’s application. Part B involves a revision application to have the decision to donate the funds to Cuba overturned. Part B will be heard on a later date.

AfriForum’s legal argument is based on the following grounds: Firstly, DIRCO allocated the funds from a surplus from 2020 to 2021. However, the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) stipulates that funds may not be carried over to a following year. Given that it is already 2022, the funds should have been repaid to the National Treasury. Secondly, in accordance with the PFMA, the national legislature must approve any payment exceeding R100 000. As this did not take place, the proper parliamentary process was not followed.

“AfriForum brought this application to prevent these much-needed funds from being squandered to Cuba. The planned donation is shameful and insulting, especially since the government cannot even afford the rent for critical government departments. The government owes R50 million for three months rent for critical state departments’ offices in Pretoria’s central business district. The government should forget about making any donations to its ideological cronies in Cuba and focus on solving the problems caused by its own incompetence and corruption in South Africa,” says Reiner Duvenage, Campaign Officer for strategy and content at AfriForum.

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