EFF will fight Party Funding Bill in court if adopted in its current form

The EFF will challenge the Party Funding Bill in court if it gets passed with a provision that prohibits members of parties from accepting donations that aren't meant for political purposes.

The EFF's national legal head Kwena Manamela said this to the National Council of Provinces' Ad Hoc Committee on Party Funding on Wednesday, after a broad range of civil society organisations expressed great enthusiasm for the bill.

Manamela said the EFF has expressed its support for legislation regulating party funding but added: "As the bill stands right now, the EFF is opposed to supporting it."

They say the bill's Section 10 is too broad. This section states that a member of a political party may only receive a donation on behalf of the party and for political purposes.

READ: Parliament adopts bill to force parties to disclose funders

He said this was a borderline infringement on freedom of association and could deter people from joining political parties.

ANC MP from Mpumalanga, Landulile Dlamini asked: "How is this objection different from all the other objections they've done?"

"They (the EFF) are objecting to everything. How is this one different?" she added.

Manamela said their objection was genuine and added that they would challenge its constitutionality if the bill was passed as it was.

Organisations such as the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac), the South African Editors' Forum (Sanef) and AmaBhungane, Cosatu, My Vote Counts, Right2Know and Corruption Watch all supported the bill.

There was, however, suggestions to improve the bill, with the provision that donations to parties under R100 000 could be anonymous generally opposed.

My Vote Counts and R2K suggested that the figure be lowered to R10 000, and Casac suggested R50 000. But Cosatu said it should be scrapped completely.

There were also calls to make it illegal for companies who make donations to parties to do business with the state, and to regulate parties' investments.

R2K's Murray Hunter said the bill was not only about fighting corruption, but also to ensure political equality – that people with cheque books don't pull the strings under a veil of anonymity, while other people's only currency was a cross on a ballot paper.

Martin van Staden of the Free Market Foundation said they supported the bill, but it should not be implemented just yet. He said state officials have too many discretionary powers, which would mean people would fear donating to opposition parties if they were to be named because they could be victimised.

He said if implemented now, it could mean that opposition parties would receive fewer donations.

Corruption Watch asked that the bill be adopted as soon as possible.

Last year, the National Assembly adopted a motion to establish an ad hoc committee to inquire into and make recommendations on, the funding of political parties represented in national and provincial legislatures, with a view to introducing amended legislation.

The bill is the product of this process.

It was adopted in the National Assembly, with the EFF's objection and the DA's reservations, in March and referred to the National Council of Provinces, which is now dealing with it.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Eskom has considered continuous load shedding at Stage 2, instead of introducing it when the power system faces a crunch. What are your thoughts?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
I'm all for it - we're going to have power cuts regardless, so we might as well have some stability to better plan our lives
45% - 4725 votes
No thanks! I prefer having periods of no load shedding and we cannot normalise this crisis
55% - 5793 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
18.09
-0.7%
Rand - Pound
19.33
+0.3%
Rand - Euro
17.38
-0.1%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.68
+0.2%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-0.1%
Gold
1,621.66
-1.3%
Silver
18.34
-2.8%
Palladium
2,047.50
-1.2%
Platinum
852.00
-0.8%
Brent Crude
86.15
-5.0%
Top 40
57,290
+0.3%
All Share
63,626
+0.3%
Resource 10
56,215
-0.2%
Industrial 25
79,529
+1.4%
Financial 15
13,982
-1.2%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE