Court rules MPs should be obligated to disclose internal campaign donations

A full bench has found that the Executive Ethics Code, which compels MPs to disclose benefits they receive is "unconstitutional, unlawful and invalid".

FILE: A National Assembly hybrid plenary sitting in line with COVID-19 regulations on 27 August 2020. Picture: @ParliamentofRSA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The High Court in Pretoria has ruled that members of Parliament should be obligated to disclose donations received for internal political party campaigns.

A full bench has found that the Executive Ethics Code, which compels MPs to disclose benefits they receive, is "unconstitutional, unlawful and invalid".

This was because it doesn't require the names of donors. But the court has also ordered that this declaration "shall have no retrospective effect".

It will also be suspended for a period of 12 months to allow for the defect to be corrected.

Investigative journalists from amaBhungane brought the case, arguing that the Constitution and Executives Members Act require internal campaign donations to be disclosed.

The media house said this could mitigate risks of conflicts of interest when donors support political candidates' campaigns for high office in their political parties.

This means that details of the President Cyril Ramaphosa's CR17 campaign don't need to be disclosed.