Western Cape ANC treasurer Maurencia Gillion has been suspended pending an investigation into her role in an R1 million donation given to the party by businessman and Independent Media executive chairperson Iqbal Survé.
Gillion stands accused of soliciting the donation, distributing the money and failing to return it after being told to do so by the party, TimesLive reports.
Survè is said to have made the donation on Sunday, May 5 at an intimate but public gathering at a restaurant in Cape Town’s Silo District and chalked his donation up to his desire to “deepen democracy” through funding the feeding of volunteers and the transporting of voters to and from voting stations.
He said he wanted “nothing in return” but added that he believed it was important to enable people from less populated areas to get to voting stations.
The Citizen reported that the donation was returned just two days later, a day before the May 8 elections.
According to ANC provincial spokesperson Lionel Adendorf, the ANC Western Cape working committee met on Wednesday over the matter, reaffirming the party’s commitment to returning the money.
ANC Western Cape elections head Ebrahim Rasool told the Sunday Times Gillion failed t0 attend a meeting convened by acting chair Khaya Magaxa last Tuesday, at which her role in the donation was meant to be probed.
Gillion has so far declined to comment, telling TimesLive “she doesn’t hang the ANC’s washing in the media”.
The party reportedly decided to give Survè back his money after saying it was unable to conduct an assessment on the impact of the R1 million donation.
Speaking to News24, acting ANC provincial chairperson Khaya Magaxa explained that most of their donation requests go through a “thorough assessment” before being accepted by the party.
“Due to the fact that this happened a mere three days before the election, we had no time to do such an assessment or to consider how such a donation would be perceived given the revelations made at the commission of inquiry into allegations of impropriety regarding the Public Investment Corporation,” said Magaxa.
The ANC, however, maintained that they “remain confident that, despite the fact that we need all help at this stage, returning the donation is the right to do”.
(Compiled by Daniel Friedman. Background reporting, Kaunda Selisho)