‘What must I do? Must I go steal money from the bank?’ asked the ANC secretary-general when confronted on the late payment of salaries in December.
African National Congress (ANC) treasurer-general Paul Mashatile was asked about the late payment of ANC salaries in December in an interview on 702 on Monday, indicating that staff were paid on December 27.
Mashatile was asked why the payments were not made before the Christmas period, telling his interviewer Eusebius McKaiser that this was “not my problem”.
In response, McKaiser said on Twitter he felt Mashatile’s response was “callous as hell”.
Mashatile highlighted that paying the many salaries of ANC employees was a complicated business.
“When we are talking about paying salaries in the ANC, we aren’t just talking about R100,000,” he said.
“Payday is the 25th. We paid them on time in November and they knew that Christmas is coming and the next payday is on Christmas. I always say to people that the ANC is an NGO, not a commercial business,” he added.
He then said he did not feel it was his “problem” to ensure early payment of salaries as this was not a contractual requirement.
“It is not my problem. People know they get paid on the 25th if we can pay them earlier we do it but if donors transfer money later what must I do? Must I go steal money from the bank?” he said.
“There is nothing on their contracts that says in December they will get paid earlier, earlier, we do it if we can. It is not my problem because it is not in the contract.”
EWN reported on December 25 that ANC members had complained that the late payment of salaries had resulted in expensive bank charges.
Some employees had reportedly been notified about the delay while others hadn’t, with some telling the publication that they had since been paid, albeit late.
One of those who said they had not been paid was ANC veteran Carl Niehaus, who took to Twitter on December 25 to express being “heartbroken” over not receiving his salary, saying this would prevent him from visiting his daughter who was pregnant and would soon be giving birth, or him celebrating his 60th birthday.
He declined to comment further.
EWN reported that ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe did not respond to the publication’s requests for comment at the time. He told The Citizen that “as far we are aware, all those in the employ of the ANC have been duly paid” after rumours that some ANC employees still hadn’t been paid surfaced earlier in January.
The reports of unpaid salaries had led to speculation on social media as to how the governing party planned to fund its upcoming 108th-anniversary celebrations, which were set to be held in Kimberly on January 11.
“As matters stand – it’s now all hands on deck towards our 108th anniversary. We are all putting our energies towards ensuring that the anniversary becomes a great success,” Mabe said.
I ask Paul Mashatile why staff weren't paid on time and he says they were paid in December on the 27th. When I ask why not before Xmas so they can have money for Xmas, he says, "That's not my problem." Callous as hell. @Radio702
— Eusebius McKaiser (@Eusebius) January 13, 2020
(Compiled by Daniel Friedman)