Are the ANC’s leaders the finest politicians money can buy? That’s a fair question in the light of the organisation’s “prices” for sitting next to its chiefs at its gala dinner in Polokwane next month.
If you have a spare R1.2 million lying around, you can go right to the top of the pyramid and sit at the same table as President Cyril Ramaphosa.
There are only four of these choice openings available in what the organisation calls the “Titanium” package. (The precious metal allusion makes one wonder whether it is perhaps foreign mining magnates – who want to mine in remote rural communities – who are the target market…)
If you don’t have deep, multinational pockets, you could opt for the “Platinum” package, which, at R1 million a seat, gets you to sup at Deputy President David Mabuza’s table.
ALSO READ: It’ll cost you R1.2m to sit at Ramaphosa’s table at ANC gala dinner
It is considerably cheaper to sit at the tables of ANC chair Gwede Mantashe, treasurer-general Paul Mashatile and deputy secretary-general Jesse Duarte. These seats cost R95,000 each.
To sit with a minister or premier, you’ll have to fork out R37,500. While the practice of selling gala dinner seats is commonplace around the world, it does take on a certain unsavoury taste in this country, when one considers that the ANC couldn’t pay its own staff for more than three months. Nor does it appear seemly against the background of state capture in which the organisation’s then leadership were clearly bought by the Gupta family.
No doubt there are many other, undercover, fund-raising initiatives by the ANC, which spent fortunes on campaigning in the recent local government elections. There are also future camapigns to be funded and, possibly, comfortable leader lifestyles to be paid for.
The ANC is going to be looking for money for a long time. And there is no such thing as a free gala dinner…