Staff members of the ANC have reportedly backtracked on taking legal action against the governing party’s top-six leadership.
According to eNCA, the disgruntled Luthuli House staffers were expected to file court papers on Friday, in which they accuse the ANC’s leadership of allegedly making Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) and medical aid deductions from their salaries, but not paying them over to the relevant entities.
However, the staff have since put the court route option on hold, with collective bargaining negotiations set to resume.
The ANC’s top six comprises president Cyril Ramaphosa, deputy president David Mabuza, chairperson Gwede Mantashe, secretary-general Ace Magashule, deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte and treasurer-general Paul Mashatile.
The ANC has been experiencing cash flow problems for some time, with staff members complaining for months that they have not been receiving salaries on time.
The ruling party hasn’t been able to pay its staff since July 2021.
Last month, staffers embarked on a wildcat strike after learning they were not going to receive their salaries on time.
There are almost 250 staffers who rely on Luthuli House for their paychecks.
The ANC has been scrambling to find money and it resorted to crowdfunding, increasing membership fees and levies, and agreeing with provincial structures “to take over the salary bill”.
The party has repeatedly blamed the new Political Party Funding Act for its financial struggles
The ANC may already face charges of contravening the Unemployment Insurance Contribution Act and other tax laws after the Democratic Alliance (DA) opened a case against the party.
This followed allegations that the ANC had deducted millions of rands in pay-as-you-earn (Paye) tax from staffers salaries but did not pay them over to the South African Revenue Service (Sars).
The ANC could also face sanctions from the Department of Labour, as it is unlawful to not contribute to the UIF for an employee under the Unemployment Insurance Contributions Act.
Such sanctions include a fine or litigation before civil or criminal court, according to labour law expert Alexia Vosloo de Witt.
Additional reporting by Rorisang Kgosana