DA studying judgment on private political party funding

27 September 2017 - 14:43 By Nomahlubi Jordaan
DA leader Mmusi Maimane.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane.
Image: MOELETSI MABE

The Democratic Alliance says it is studying the Western Cape High Court judgment declaring that information regarding private political party funding should be made public.

“We have just only received the judgment now and we are working through it with our legal team‚” said DA federal executive chairperson James Selfe.

The DA opposed the application brought by My Vote Counts in which it asked the court to declare that information on private political party funding should be made public.

My Vote Counts also challenged the constitutional validity of the Promotion of Access to Information Act‚ (PAIA).

Selfe said Judge Yasmin Meer’s ruling left a question on whether it has not been overtaken by events as the National Assembly has already established an ad hoc committee to look into party funding.

The committee — led by ANC MP Vincent Smith — has finalised a draft bill and comments on it should be submitted by no later than October 16.

After considering comments on the draft bill it expects to conclude the process by the end of the year.

“[The judgment poses]… a question of whether there’s still a need for an amendment to PAIA‚” said Selfe.

In her judgment on Wednesday‚ Meer declared that information about the private funding of political parties and independent ward candidates is reasonably required for the effective exercise of the right to vote in elections and to make political choices.

She also declared that the Promotion of Access to Information Act‚ 2 of 2000 (PAIA) is inconsistent with the Constitution and invalid “insofar as it does not allow for the recordal and disclosure of private funding information”.

“The declaration of invalidity is suspended for 18 months in order to allow Parliament to remedy the defects in PAIA and to allow for the recordal and disclosure of private funding of political parties and independent candidates‚” Meer ruled.

She directed that the order be referred to the Constitutional Court for confirmation within 15 days.

 

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