Cape Town – ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile was mum on Monday on what President Cyril Ramaphosa told the party’s national executive committee (NEC) about the theft of millions of dollars on his Phala Phala farm in Limpopo two years ago.
Addressing the media on the outcomes of the NEC meeting, Mashatile said what Ramaphosa told the national leadership was “confidential”.
“He was briefing just the ANC. The rest of what we want to know will come when the reports are ready,” he said.
“I think, for now, let’s respect that confidentiality,” he said in reply to a question.
According to media reports, Ramaphosa spoke about Phala Phala farm during his opening speech on Friday and claimed the stolen money was proceeds of a legitimate business transaction.
His utterances apparently did not stop his detractors from calling on him to step aside.
Mashatile said the NEC received a report on work done by the Integrity Committee but it had nothing to do with Phala Phala.
“It was a report of the Integrity Committee on other matters and that report was tabled and noted by the NEC,” he said.
Mashatile said the Integrity Committee was still working on the report related to Phala Phala.
“They have not sent a report to us except that a draft report was leaked in the media but there is no report that has come to the ANC because they are not ready yet.”
Mashatile also said the NEC welcomed the report from the conference preparation committee for the party’s 55th national elective conference.
The NEC thanked thousands of members who gathered in branch general meetings to reflect on various matters, including the election of delegates to the conference and nomination of candidates for the NEC.
It also welcomed meetings held by the veterans league and women and youth leagues to nominate candidates.
“There are a few disputes relating to the branch general meetings recorded and the ANC and provincial and national dispute resolutions committees are processing those disputes,” he said.
Mashatile also said “this landmark national conference” will be attended by more than 4 500 voting delegates, the NEC, leagues and provincial executive committees.
Mashatile noted that the national conference came at a period when the country and the ANC faced severe challenges in a global time of uncertainty.
“Achievements of democracy are under strain and the ANC electoral support has declined.
“It will therefore be a watershed conference for the movement to ensure it revitalises itself to intensify the pursuit of a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous country.”
Mashatile told the media that despite the ANC’s financial woes, it will hold a successful conference next month.
He blamed the party’s financial battles on the funding environment since the enactment of the Political Party Funding Act, which requires the disclosure of donations to parties and also sets out limitations on amounts to be donated within a year.
However, Mashatile said their fundraising efforts have not died completely.
“It is difficult, but we are surviving. We paid all our staff to date and we will pay them this month, next month and the other month.
“We will be able to hold a successful conference and we will pay our creditors for venues and hotels. We are raising funds. We are not rich but we are surviving,” he added.
Mashatile also indicated that consolidation of the party’s properties, both in the country and abroad, was not a fundraising drive.
“There are other assets we will still keep in foreign countries. There are assets that are of historic and political value to the ANC, like our headquarters in Lusaka, which we are preserving and head office in London and others we will dispose off.”
Meanwhile, NEC member Ronald Lamola said they would today publish the amendments that will be considered during the conference.
These include creation of the position of second deputy secretary-general and incorporating the step-aside rule in the party’ sconstitution.
“Amendments have to pass by a two thirds majority at the conference,” Lamola said.