The Johannesburg High Court has dismissed a case by public relations expert Sihle Bolani, who claimed the African National Congress owed her more than R1-million for her role in an underhanded 'black ops' campaign targeted at opposition parties last year.
In a statement on Thursday, the ANC said the judgment vindicated them.
"The ANC has consistently maintained that the organisation had no relationship with Bolani nor any knowledge of the so-called black ops campaign she claims she was involved in towards the 2016 Local Government Elections. We are thus vindicated by this judgment and welcome the clarity it finally provides on the matter," the ANC said.
"It has never and will never be on the basis of some concerted black ops campaign that the ANC engages with our people."
AmaBhungane revealed last year that the ANC planned to spend R50-million on a covert campaign targeting opposition parties in the 2016 local government elections. The allegations were tabled in court papers filed at the same court.
The covert team, initially known as the War Room, allegedly intended to "disempower the DA and EFF campaigns" and set a pro-ANC agenda using a range of media, without revealing the ANC's hand.
The case was brought against the ANC by Bolani, who claimed she was owed R2.2-million for work done as part of the campaign. Bolani was reported to be a key member of the War Room.
Bolani reportedly signed a R1-million settlement agreement with ANC general manager Ignatius Jacobs in early December, but approached the court to demand the full amount after she was not paid.
On Wednesday, Bolani disputed the ANC's version of events at the High Court and tweeted:
They're lying... 🙄 Case not dismissed. They are not "vindicated". Will give feedback later. https://t.co/Kn1hY8oJ6n— Sihle Bolani (@PRGirlinPRWorld) June 8, 2017
...They should have asked their lawyers to explain what happened in court sloooowwwwwly.... 😴— Sihle Bolani (@PRGirlinPRWorld) June 8, 2017