South African Court Blocks a Multimillion Dollar Government Donation to Cuba

The planned donation sparked a strong controversy in the country. (The South African)

14ymedio biggerEFE (via 14ymedio), Pretoria, 22 March 2022 — On Tuesday, a South African Court ordered a stop to the donation of 50 million rands (3.25 million dollars) that the Government of President Cyril Ramaphosa was going to make to Cuba, according to the plaintiffs that acted against that initiative.

The decision was adopted by Gauteng High Court Judge Brenda Neukircher after the Afrikaner pressure group Afriforum denounced the Executive’s plans and asked the courts for an urgent order to paralyze it.

Neukircher’s measure does not cancel the plans, but leaves them “on hold” until the courts have decided on the complaint.

“We are very pleased that we managed to stop this illegal and scandalous donation,” Reiner Duvenage,  Afriforum’s strategy coordinator, said in a statement.

The Afrikaner lobby was “optimistic” about the future of their complaint and promised to “continue to fight wasteful and excessive spending that squanders taxpayers’ money.”

The planned donation had been arranged by the South African Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation and came from its African Renaissance and International Cooperation Fund.

“South Africa responded to the call for humanitarian assistance in the context of reciprocity and historical friendship and solidarity with Cuba, which was established through the sacrifices of Cuba during our struggle for freedom,” said Naledi Pandor, head of that portfolio, in a written response on the matter to the main South African opposition party, the Democratic Alliance.

For Afriforum as well as for dozens of civil organizations and opposition groups, the news of the donation to Cuba — which was announced at the beginning of February — intended to alleviate hunger on the Island, represents a negligence toward the needs of the African country itself, that has not yet managed to overcome the crisis of the pandemic and that suffers from deep problems of inequality, unemployment and poverty.


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