The ANC could face more fraud charges if it has been deducting Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) contributions from its workers without paying them over for the past three years.
ANC staff downed tools last week as they have not been paid for three months.
Staff also claimed the party had made UIF and provident fund deductions, but that these were not paid on to the relevant entities. This could mean the ANC pocketed the money, said labour law expert Alexia Vosloo de Witt.
“If you look at the payslip, and if UIF was deducted and not paid over, the employer clearly pocketed that money. It is shocking that any employer would do this,” she said.
This could constitute fraud, which could result in a criminal charge, labour lawyer advocate Dunstan Farrell said. “If they are deducting it from you but not paying it over, it is fraud.
“A criminal charge can be instituted, but the ANC can fix it in retrospect. They can go to the labour department and backpay the outstanding contributions.”
The ANC could face sanctions from the department of labour once the matter was investigated as it was unlawful to not contribute to UIF for an employee under the Unemployment Insurance Contributions Act.
Such sanctions included a fine or litigation before civil or criminal court, said De Witt.
“The department of labour would have to do an investigation to determine to what extent they have not complied. If they never registered their staff, or registered but failed to make payments for certain staff, depending on what the department finds in the investigation, they would decide on a sanction or a penalty.
“Depending on the employer and how far they did not comply with the act regarding UIF, it can be a financial penalty but can lead to more serious litigation, even criminal or a civil action,” she said.
The ruling party may already face charges of contravening the Unemployment Insurance Contribution Act and tax laws after opposition party the Democratic Alliance (DA) opened a case against the ANC top six yesterday.
This followed allegations that the ANC deducted millions of rands in pay-as-you-earn tax from salaries that was not paid over to the SA Revenue Service.
The DA wrote to Minister of Labour Thulas Nxesi for clarity on this, but there has been no response.
The UIF did not comment, either.