Parliament 'notes' party-funding ruling

2017-09-27 19:52


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Cape Town – Moves are already afoot to regulate the public and private funding of political parties, Parliament said on Wednesday as it noted a court ruling forcing political parties to disclose where their funding comes from.

In a statement, its spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said this process mooted by parliament includes prohibiting certain donations made directly to political parties and regulating disclosure of donations.

The Ad Hoc Committee on the Funding of Political Parties has until November 30 to submit a report to the National Assembly.

On Wednesday Judge Yasmin Shenaz Meer ruled in the Western Cape High court that Parliament has 18 months to rectify "inconsistencies" in the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA), following an application from non-profit organisation My Vote Counts.

Also read: Political parties must disclose private funding - court ruling

Meer said information about private funding is "reasonably required" for the effective exercise of the right to vote and to make political choices by the Constitution.

"It is declared that the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2 of 2000, is inconsistent with the Constitution and invalid insofar as it does not allow for the recordal and disclosure of private funding information.

"The declaration of invalidity... is suspended for 18 months in order to allow Parliament to remedy the defects in PAIA and to allow for the recordal and disclosure of private funding of political parties and independent candidates."

The ruling also applies to independent ward candidates in local elections.

The Minister of Justice and Correctional Services and the Democratic Alliance (DA) were ordered to pay the costs of the application.

READ: We 'probably won't' appeal party funding ruling - DA

DA federal chairperson James Selfe said the party "probably won't" appeal the ruling. 

"The biggest thing that remains unanswered is whether the legislation that is currently before the ad hoc committee on party funding subsumes the ruling to amend PAIA,” he said. 

"It does seem to me that that [the ad hoc committee legislation] will fulfill the requirements of the court judgment... It seems the proposed bill will achieve just that."

Read more on:    parliament  |  da  |  cape town

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