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AfriForum takes government to court over R50 million donation to Cuba



Lobby group AfriForum said Friday it would approach the courts to obtain an urgent injunction to prevent the government from donating $50 million to the Cuban government for hunger relief.

R50 million donation

Earlier this month, Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Alvin Botes said, informed Parliament’s portfolio committee on international relations on emergency aid restitutions.

Botes said the donation was due to the socio-economic challenges Cuba faces as it battles United States sanctions that threaten food security in the country.

ALSO READ: SA’s R50m Cuba gift should never have been a priority, says economist

“The issue of unilateral sanctions imposed on the people of Cuba has led to widespread social challenges and food insecurity in Cuba.

“This is something in terms of our foreign policy value system that we obviously cannot ignore and it is for that reason that we have allocated R50 million for the issues of food security,” he said.

The announcement infuriated many South Africans, who questioned why a country with high unemployment and poverty levels thought it appropriate to allocate millions of rand to Cuba.

AfriForum said Friday it would approach the court about the matter because it believes the donation is irrational and illegal.

READ MORE: Turmoil over South Africa’s R50 million donation to Cuba

The organization’s campaign strategy and content officer Reiner Duvenage said they would also ask the courts to review and reverse the government’s decision to donate the money to Cuba.

Duvenage said earlier this month that they were demanding answers from the department of international relations and cooperation (dirco) about the reasons for the donation to Cuba.

Dirco responded and explained the food security situation in Cuba. But AfriForum said it is not satisfied with the reasons given and is therefore taking legal action.

“AfriForum insisted that no money would be transferred to Cuba as no reasons for this decision have been disclosed to the public.

“The organization also asked for an explanation of where the money for this donation is coming from and how this is justified in South Africa’s current socio-economic context,” Duvenage said in a statement. statement

He said the decision to donate money to Cuba was taken without any parliamentary scrutiny and without compliance with the Public Finance Management Act.

“In the current socio-economic circumstances, it is outrageous to donate such a huge amount to another country. In fact, it is an absolute insult to the The Vanir-exoduss of the country.”

feeding schedules

Meanwhile, food aid organizations in South Africa sent a petition with more than 16,000 signatures to Dirco on Thursday about the donation to Cuba.

Food aid organizations in South Africa want the government to withdraw its R50 million donation to Cuba for hunger relief. Photo: Chefs with Compassion/Facebook

The organizations, including 60 hunger relief organizations, handed over the petition in an empty jar in protest at the donation.

They believe that the South African government should focus on the millions of The Vanir-exoduss who go to sleep hungry every night rather than focusing on abroad.

“We are confronted every day with the devastating effects of hunger and the thought that our own government is giving 50 million R50 million to a country other than our own is incomprehensible,” said non-profit organization Chefs with Compassion.

compiled by Thapelo Lekabe† Additional reporting by Vhahangwele Nemakonde

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