10 May 2024

Today at 14h00, MVC’s urgent application to defend our party funding transparency laws will be heard in the Western Cape High Court. The respondents cited in the matter are the President, the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, the Minister of Home Affairs, and the Acting Speaker of the National Assembly.

Our application asks the Court to make an immediate order to declare parts of the Electoral Matters Amendment Act, as they relate to the Political Party Funding Act (PPFA), specifically to the R100k disclosure threshold and the R15m donation limit, inconsistent with the Constitution and invalid. Further, that until Parliament passes a resolution on the matter, and the President makes a final determination on these limits, the disclosure threshold should be R100k, and the upper limit R15m.

We are asking the Court to close the gap, or lacuna, in the law until Parliament and the President fulfil their duties. Currently, this gap means that a donation of ANY amount can be made to a political party or independent candidate, and there is no legal obligation to disclose this under the PPFA. A political party or independent could receive a donation of R100m from a donor looking to buy influence, and the public would not know. As our affidavit explains, ‘The lacuna…presents significant legal challenges, with potential for grave opportunistic abuses of the framework for private funding of political parties’. Further, until remedied, ‘Every day has the potential to bring about irreversibly harmful consequences for South Africa’s constitutional democracy and its voting public’.

For queries or further information email lelethu@myvotecounts.org.za or WhatsApp 068 098 9149