The ANC's treasurer in the Western Cape Maurencia Gillion has been suspended because a controversial election donation received from Iqbal Survé's Sekunjalo group has not been paid back yet, the party said on Thursday.
This follows a meeting by the provincial working committee (PWC) in the province earlier in the day to discuss deployments and funding.
"On the donation from the media mogul and philanthropist, Dr Iqbal Survé, the PWC, while appreciating the generous gesture made, reaffirmed the position of the provincial office-bearers to return the donation," said ANC Western Cape acting chairperson Khaya Magaxa in a statement.
"In accordance with rule 25.9 and rule 25.56, the PWC took a decision to summarily suspend the membership of the provincial treasurer while this matter is being thoroughly investigated."
Gillion was among guests at the intimate gathering on Sunday, May 5 before the national and provincial election, and thanked Survè who was present, for the donation.
In attendance at the announcement were also ANC Youth League Western Cape leader Muhammad Khalid Sayed, provincial elections coordinator Ebrahim Rasool (who went to school with Survé), provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs, and representatives from its regions.
Gillion was also heard telling the regions that they would receive their share, meant to provide food for 15 000 volunteers and help with transporting voters to polling stations.
Survé said the donation was to "deepen democracy" and in a later interview told News24 he donated to other parties too, although he would not name them.
In an awkward about-turn, Magaxa announced that he only found out about the donation the following day, and in line with President Cyril Ramaphosa's principals, ordered that the money be paid back.
Some of it had however been disbursed already.
It was understood to be R1m.
Magaxa's aide Lionel Adendorf told News24:
"Unfortunately the report received today confirmed that the money has not been given back."
He said Gillion would remain suspended until the receipt of the donation, as well as after the failure to return it was investigated and resolved.
Surve said last week the company had not received the money back yet.
This week, he told News24 that he was abroad so did not know what the situation was.