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[BREAKING] Court orders political parties to reveal private funding sources

Judge Yasmin Meer ruled that Parliament must amend the Promotion to Access of Information Act to compel parties to reveal their private funding sources.

FILE: Party representatives of SA's thirteen political parties represented in Parliament gather to take a selfie after they signed their pledges to abide by the IEC's code of conduct during the 2016 local government elections. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape High Court has ordered Parliament to make provision for political parties to publicly disclose private funding within the next 18 months.

In a judgment in favour of the My Vote Counts campaign, Judge Yasmin Meer has left it up to Parliament to decide how this should be done.

An ad hoc committee of Parliament has been looking into the disclosure of private funding to political parties and has already tabled a draft bill on the matter.

In argument before court last month, My Vote Counts stated that the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) was inconsistent with the Constitution because it failed to provide for the disclosure of private political party funding.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) was the only party to oppose the application.

But Judge Meer has stressed that there must be transparency about private political party funding.

My Vote Counts national organiser Janine Ogle: "We feel that the public and the electorate must have this information to enable them to make an informed vote."

A draft Political Party Funding Bill was gazetted last week for public comment.

Parliament's ad hoc committee has been given until the end of November to make recommendations to the National Assembly.

Wednesday's judgment will have to be confirmed by the Constitutional Court.

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