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By Chulumanco Mahamba

Digital Night Supervisor

AfriForum prevails in controversial battle over R50m donation to Cuba

The ongoing dispute over a R50 million donation to Cuba takes a new turn as AfriForum claims a win in the Supreme Court, defending their initial interdict granted.

In a contentious battle over a proposed R50 million donation to Cuba, the AfriForum has claimed a victory.

AfriForum said on Tuesday that the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) dismissed the Department of International Relations and Cooperation’s (Dirco) attempt to appeal an interdict to stop their planned R50 million donations to Cuba.

This is after the organisation obtained an interdict on 22 March 2022 from the Northern Gauteng High Court in Pretoria preventing the department from making the donation pending a review application of the decision to stop the donation completely. Costs were further awarded to the organisation.

The review of the decision to make the donation was made on 15 May, and judgment has not been made yet.

The department appealed to the High Court, SCA, and Constitutional Court, according to AfriForum.

‘Process of appeal is not done’

The department spokesperson Clayson Monyela said told The Citizen on Tuesday afternoon that it will study the judgement and decide on the way forward.

Charné Mostert, campaign officer at AfriForum, said the organisation was glad that the court dismissed the department’s attempts to appeal AfriForum’s interdict.

“It is troubling that the department appealed against the interdict at every court in South Africa. This clearly demonstrates Dirco’s desperate determination to gift taxpayer money to their friends and their relentless pursuit of any means to achieve it,” said Mostert.

“Naledi Pandor lamenting the fact that AfriForum forced her to redirect this money set for Cuba towards actually helping poor people in her own country speaks volumes. Take care of your own poverty-struck country first before trying to donate money your government does not have to your friends.”

ALSO READ: Court upholds AfriForum’s Cuba donation interdict

The matter regarding the donation started on 21 July 2021, when the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Pandor, received a formal request for emergency assistance consisting of food and medical supplies from the ambassador of Cuba.

On 3 August 2021, the Minister of Finance gave permission for the amount of R71 million to be retained, and on 13 August 2021, he approved the R50 million in assistance.

On 22 March 2022, Judge Brenda Neukircher granted AfriForum the interdict pending the final outcome of the review or the final outcome to declare the donation as unlawful and unconstitutional.

“The respondents are interdicted from paying over the relevant funds of any part thereof to the government of the Republic of Cuba, the Cuban people, or any agent or intermediary,” Neukircher said in the interdict.

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