Herman Mashaba’s political party, ActionSA has accused the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) of soliciting donations for political parties through the Multi-Party Democracy Fund.
The Fund was established in terms of the Political Party Funding Act, which came into effect in April this year. It’s aimed at raising and distributing funds donated from the private sector to represented political parties.
Just two months after its implementation, the Multi-Party Democracy Fund is under scrutiny. ActionSA claims that the IEC is in violation of its Constitutional obligations with regards to the fund. It accuses the commission of actively raising funds for the fourteen political parties in the National Assembly and excluding political parties like ActionSA, that can only be represented after the 2024 national elections.
“ActionSA has written to the IEC CEO Sy Mamabolo and Deputy CEO Masego Sheburi to demand that the IEC’s fundraising for the multi-party democracy fund be ceased immediately. The IEC made the startling confession that it has been actively soliciting funds for the 14 political parties that are represented in the National Assembly, who already received billions in public funding every year from taxpayers. It is intolerable that the IEC activities perpetuate the status quo in politics especially when South Africans are being failed so fundamentally,” says ActionSA spokesperson Lerato Ngobeni.
Herman Mashaba’s ActionSA accuses IEC of soliciting donations for political parties
Earlier this year, the IEC indicated that it was taking measures to promote the Fund. The Fund is critical to combat corruption, by requiring political parties and donors to be transparent.
“Democracy is expensive and the fiscus alone cannot provide complete financial support to political parties especially under the current severe fiscal constraints. To ensure we continue to enjoy a vibrant, thriving and robust multiparty democracy we hope that this Fund will provide an easy and “Hands off” channel through which corporate entities, individuals and other organisations can contribute funds to parties without having to engage directly with them or needing to declare these separately,” says IEC vice-chairperson Janet Love.
The party has since written to the commission’s CEO and Deputy CEO, demanding that the fund ceases with immediate effect and that money deposited be returned to the donors.
ActionSA has given the IEC until this Friday to respond to their demands or else they will take the matter to court. Meanwhile, the commission is mum on the matter and says it will comment at a later stage.