Parliament welcomes ConCourt ruling on political party funding

2018-06-21 17:49


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Parliament welcomed a ruling by the Constitutional Court which confirmed that voters have the right to be informed about private funding of political parties.

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng confirmed the Western Cape High Court ruling which found that the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) was unconstitutional, because it did not provide for the disclosure of information pertaining to the private funding that political parties receive.

Mogoeng ruled that Parliament must amend PAIA and "take any other measures it deems appropriate" to provide for this within a period of 18 months.

READ: Political party funding: 10 weighty quotes from Chief Justice Mogoeng's ruling

In a statement issued on Thursday, Parliament spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said: "It is noteworthy that Parliament did not participate in this litigation.

"However, Parliament welcomes this judgment and notes that it, in many respects, accords with the initiative it had already taken in drafting a Political Party Funding Bill which is currently being considered by its Ad Hoc Committee on Political Funding."

Mothapo said Parliament would liaise with the minister of justice and correctional services to facilitate a "speedy" implementation of the terms of the judgment.

In his ruling, Mogoeng said: "It is declared that information on private funding of political parties and independent candidates is essential for the effective exercise of the right to make political choices and to participate in the elections.

"It is declared that information on private funding of political parties and independent candidates must be recorded, preserved and made reasonably accessible."

Non-profit organisation My Vote Counts had previously argued in the Constitutional Court that it was critical for voters to know who funded political parties, so that citizens could be informed and make the right decisions.

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