South African billionaire businessman, Zunaid Moti has reportedly turned his back on the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), leaving the organisation floundering with an outstanding bill believed to be in excess of P20 million.
The debt includes P10 million in unsettled court fees incurred from the disastrous petitions, which the UDC lost with costs late last year. Part of of the balance includes outstanding campaign expenses acquired in the build-up to the 2019 general elections.
At the time, Moti was hailed by many within the Umbrella as a ‘moneybags Messiah’ who would help their movement match the ruling party Pula for Pula in the election campaigns.
However, it seems Moti’s coming was a false dawn, with the controversial businessman since severing ties with UDC.
The Umbrella has been left with no choice but to seek pledges from the public as it looks to cut its crippling bill.
When asked about the P20 million debt, UDC Treasurer, Dennis Alexandra distanced himself from the issue saying he is not well informed.
“There are certain things that I am not involved in including the call for donations and legal fees from the court cases,” he explained before referring all queries to the party’s Head of Communications, Moeti Mohwasa.
“It is true we have financial challenges because some pledges that were made towards elections were never fulfilled,” admitted Mohwasa.
As for the UDC’s relationship with Moti, the Communications head confirmed the South African businessman assisted them in the lead up to last year’s election.
“He did help us a lot,” said Mohwasa, who would not be drawn into discussing the current status between Moti and the UDC.
According to an inside source from within the UDC, Moti has dumped the Umbrella and is no longer interested in helping it.
“The party didn’t mind its’ spending because we thought we will take over the government and pay our bills but it failed. After our loss, our friends turned their backs on us and we have to see how we pay bills,” said the source.
Efforts to get a comment from Moti hit a snag as his phone did not get through.