GOOD Statement by Brett Herron,
GOOD Secretary-General & Member of Parliament
20 September 2022
The Constitutional Court ruling on the need for members of the executive to disclose funding for their internal political party campaigns is a welcome step towards shoring up the integrity of electoral processes.
The internal electoral campaign that saw President Cyril Ramaphosa ascend to the presidency of the ruling party was said to have cost in the region of a billion Rands, with his then-opponent Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s not far behind in the funding stakes.
Citizens have a right to know where these piles of money are coming from, and to be able to monitor whether funders receive returns on their investments.
Such information is no less important than knowing who pays party’s bills in general elections.
The Constitutional Court judgement confirmed a High Court ruling declaring the Executive Ethics Code unconstitutional insofar as it does not require members of the executive to disclose donations linked to internal party political campaigns.
Aligning the Executive Ethics Code to the Constitution will boost electoral reform, transparency and accountability, and enhance trust in democratic processes in South Africa.
While undoubtedly a step in the correct direction, the Concourt would have done even better had it been been able to take the extra step of extending the obligation for accountability beyond members of the executive to all who contest internal party elections.
The internal campaign that saw John Steenhuisen triumph over Mbali Ntuli and assume leadership of the DA, for example, would have also cost a small fortune. Citizens should know where this money comes from, too.
South Africa should ensure that all people with political ambitions are subject to the same rules; that would-be leaders, now and in future, whether members of the country’s executive or not, face uniform standards of scrutiny.
Brett Herron, GOOD Secretary-General & Member of Parliament
Janke Tolmay, GOOD Media Manager