The Northern Gauteng High Court in Pretoria today rejected a leave to appeal application lodged by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) against an interdict obtained by AfriForum preventing it from donating R50 million to Cuba. The civil rights organisation defended Judge Neukircher’s original ruling and opposed the application on the grounds that the urgent interdict was granted on a temporary basis pending the outcome of the later review application. It argued that there was no reason to appeal an urgent court order since the government would have the opportunity to make its case during the review application.
“We are glad that the court upheld the interdict, since it is simply unacceptable, irrational and illegal for the government to squander money that could be used to solve the myriad of problems in this country. Yet, the government is proving so desperate to donate the much-needed funds to Cuba that it has also lodged leave to appeal applications at the Supreme Court of Appeal and Constitutional Court. Today’s ruling, however, strengthens our optimism that the interdict will be upheld in the higher courts and that we will succeed with our review application to overturn the decision to donate the funds,” says Reiner Duvenage, Campaign Officer for Strategy and Content at AfriForum.