Narissa Subramoney
Copy rewriter
2 minute read
22 Mar 2022
3:03 pm

AfriForum successfully interdicts Dirco’s R50 million Cuba donation

Narissa Subramoney

The judge said that that Godongwana's approval of the donation was irrational and maybe even unlawful.

People take part in a demonstration to support the government of the Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel in Havana, on 11 July 2021. Picture: YAMIL LAGE/AFP

Civil rights organisation AfriForum on Tuesday successfully interdicted the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) from making a R50 million donation to Cuba.

The case was heard at the High Court, Gauteng Division sitting in Pretoria.

Judge J Neukircher found that Cuba had not asked for funds, but humanitarian aid in the form of medical supplies and food.  

Neukircher made damning findings against Dirco and Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana, saying that Godongwana’s approval of the donation was irrational and maybe even unlawful.

It was also revealed in the judgment that the fund from which the donation would have been paid, did not have sufficient monies to honour the request.

Neukircher also found in favour of AfriForum’s argument that the matter was urgent and would cause irreparable harm.

“The respondents argued all that remained of the processes was for a service provider to be appointed. But therein lies irreparable harm. Once the service provider is appointed and the humanitarian aid purchased, the money has been expended,” said Neukircher.

During the case, Dirco gave no indication that it would halt the donation pending the outcome of a separate application to set aside the donation.

“I am of the view that AfriForum demonstrated the irreparable harm to be suffered if this interdict was not granted,” said Neukircher.

“AfriForum is pleased that the court ruled in its favour against the ludicrous donation amid a serious economic crisis,” said the organisation in a statement.

“The successful interdict represented the first part of AfriForum’s legal action against the donation. The second part will involve submitting a review application at a later date to overturn the government’s decision to donate the funds to Cuba,” it added.

In addition to granting the interdict, the court ordered the respondents to pay the costs of the application.

Judge Neukircher found that AfriForum represents the broader interests of the public and “there is no reason why AfriForum should be out of pocket”.

“We are pleased that we have managed to stop this unlawful and shameful donation in its tracks. We are now optimistic that our review application will succeed in making a final end to the matter,” said AfriForum.

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