South Africa 10.2.2015 09:14 am

ConCourt to hear political party’s funders case

The Constitutional Court will hear an application on Tuesday by a non-governmental organisation seeking to determine whether Parliament has failed in its constitutional obligation to get political parties to disclose the source of their private funding.

Currently, political parties are not obliged to disclose their funders.

The applicant in the matter, My Vote Counts NPC, is calling for a more inclusive, transparent and accountable political system.

Forming the basis of their case was the constitutional right to access information and the right to vote.

The group contends that citizens are entitled to access information about private funding to political parties and Parliament has a constitutional obligation to enact specific legislation to mandate this disclosure, in addition to the wide general provisions of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA).

Parliament, represented by the Speaker of the National Assembly and chair of the National Council of Provinces, was opposing the application.

It claimed that PAIA adequately and exhaustively covered the constitutional right of access to information and the disclosure of the private funding of political parties may be requested through the existing legislation.

It also planned to argue that it had enacted several pieces of legislation that promoted accountable and transparent governance, therefore it had no obligation to enact the specific legislation sought by My Vote Counts.

All political parties currently represented in Parliament are cited as respondents, but none of them opposes the application.

They have agreed that the Constitution confers exclusive jurisdiction the Constitutional Court.

 

today in print