The African National Congress (ANC) faces liquidation if its assets do not meet the R150-million owed to Ezulweni Investments for election material supplied to it for its 2019 election campaign.
On Monday, Ezulweni Investments obtained a writ order from the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg, giving the sheriff of the court the go-ahead to attach the ANC's assets.
The order, seen by News24, was issued after the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) dismissed with costs the ANC's appeal against a high court judgment that the party was liable for the outstanding money.
"You are hereby directed to attach and take … the movable goods of the execution debtor African National Congress at Chief Albert Luthuli House and of the same cause to be realised by public auction R102 465 000, 10% interest per annum from 1 September 2019 to 29 February 2020, 9.75% from 1 March 2020 to 30 April 2020 and 8.75% per annum from 1 May 2020 until the date of payment in full," read the order to the sheriff.
Attorneys' fees and the sheriff's execution of the order were also included in the costs.
News24 spoke to the attorney representing Ezulweni Investments, Shafique Sarlie, from Sarlie and Associates, who said the sheriff would be given free rein to assess what could be attached in assets from the governing party.
He added that an auction would take place after the assessment - and, if the funds did not meet the entire amount, about R150-million, the ANC could be liquidated.
The party's bank accounts would also be up for grabs by the sheriff, Sarlie said.
He had previously successfully attached three of the ANC's bank accounts before the party appealed.
"The amount now is far higher than that, at R147-million. We had historically attached three accounts, and I don't think there was that much.
"Whatever the sheriff finds, he commands enough to satisfy the judge and, if it is not enough at a judicial sale, we will weigh our options and decide whether we proceed with liquidation proceedings against the ANC," Sarlie said.
"We have given them the opportunity. We don't want to embarrass the ANC. It has been three-and-a-half years. You cannot stall anymore," he added.
Sarlie said since there was no semblance of constitutional matter in this case, the ANC could not make a constitutional point to take it to the Constitutional Court.
The legal matter between Ezulweni and the ANC dates to 2019.
The company was forced to approach the Gauteng High Court after failing to recoup money it said it was owed for providing 30 000 election banners at a cost of R2 900 each.
The case was heard in 2020 and 2022 when the first ruling was made against the ANC, showing Ezulweni had proven its case.
In May, the company obtained a writ order.
The ANC then filed a late appeal application at the SCA - but, on 24 November, the court said the ANC had been unconvincing in its appeal arguments.
"The version of the ANC accordingly does not raise bona fide factual disputes. It does not warrant the approach that the matter should have been decided on its version.
"On the contrary, the court of first instance and the full court were amply justified in basing their findings on the version of Ezulweni where the two versions conflicted," the SCA ruling stated.
The court found the ANC, which had ignored communications from Ezulweni, should have made efforts to disprove the existence of a contractual agreement.
The company showed in text messages between its executive, Renash Ramadas, and two ANC officials that an agreement to supply goods was reached, clearing the case in the company's favour.
"The ANC's version is not capable of belief in the face of the cascade of communications from Ramdas that were met with deafening silence from the ANC.
"The only credible response of an entity in the position of the ANC, if its version was true, would have been to immediately set the record straight, so as to prevent Ezulweni from proceeding at risk," the SCA said.