Cape Town – Treasurer-general of the ANC Zweli Mkhize admitted that the party received donations from the Guptas.
Mkhize was presenting the ANC’s stance on party funding to the ad hoc committee investigating this matter when the EFF’s Marshall Dlamini said the Guptas footed the bill for the ANC’s 2012 conference in Mangaung. Dlamini reminded him that it is a criminal offence to lie to Parliament.
“Did the Guptas donate (to the ANC)? Yes, they did,” Mkhize said. “Did they donate to the DA? Yes, they did.”
He didn’t directly respond to Dlamini’s statement about the conference.
Later Mkhize said it is a “tiny, insignificant amount that came to the ANC”.
“There is not a single donor who can claim to control the ANC,” he said.
“We will not accept a donation we can’t accept publicly.”
“I don’t know why the ANC comes to Parliament and says we must give more money to politicians,” Dlamini said.
Mkhize retorted, “It’s not about taking money and giving it to politicians, it’s about supporting democracy.”
Last month Mkhize presented the ANC’s submission to the media, calling for the regulation of private financing of political parties, financial transparency of political parties and "enhanced public funding for activities that promote and support democracy".
Mkhize said there was an over-reliance by political parties on private donations.
Funding almost entirely unregulated
Earlier on Wednesday the ANC’s alliance partner Cosatu also presented a submission to the committee.
“The ever growing crises of corruption and capture of political parties by wealthy individuals and capital are well known in South Africa. They pose a threat to the very heart of our hard won democracy. They are a shame upon our entire nation. This cancer affects not just the ANC but in fact is a challenge facing all parties in South Africa who exercise governance roles in various tiers, e.g. nationally, provincially or locally,” reads a statement from Matthew Parks, Cosatu’s parliamentary coordinator.
Among Cosatu’s proposals are that political parties account for all public funds they receive in full and according to the Public Management Finance Act; parties will not receive further public funds until they have accounted for previous public funds they have received, and state owned enterprises be explicitly prevented from funding political parties.
The Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC) also made its submission on Wednesday and welcomed the parliamentary process.
“Despite various international law obligations requiring South Africa to pass legislation, the funding of political parties in South Africa remains almost entirely unregulated, providing ample opportunity for unethical and dishonest donors to peddle influence in policy formulation and to meddle in domestic politics, enabling corrupt relationships to develop and undermining public confidence in both political parties and democratic politics more generally,” reads CASAC’s submission.
Among CASAC’s proposals are the establishment of a multi-party democracy fund; the disclosure of substantial private donations, so that the electorate can make an informed choice when evaluating competing political parties in line with several constitutional rights and obligations; and a cap on donations from any one source, to prevent undue influence from any one donor and to protect political parties from ‘capture’ by nefarious interests.