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IEC to institute remedial processes against Vryheid Front Plus after party defied Political Party Funding Act

IEC to institute remedial processes against Vryheid Front Plus after party defied Political Party Funding Act
The latest IEC report reveals DA received most donations in last quarter, while the VF Plus flouted Political Party Funding Act. (Photo: polity.org / Wikipedia)

The IEC's latest declarations reveal the DA raked in the most money, but the Vryheid Front Plus flouted the Act with an in-kind donation from a Taipei organisation, while the ANC submitted a late declaration and My Vote Counts raised issue with individual donor disclosures.

The latest declarations from the Independent Electoral Committee of SA have amounted to just over R41-million with the DA raking in the most money. 

However, the IEC has noted that the Vryheid Front Plus have flouted the Political Party Funding Act (PPFA). This is because the party received a donation from a Taipei organisation for a purpose other than training and policy development.

“On the other hand, the VF Plus’s in-kind donation appears to have been received from a prohibited donor. Furthermore, it appears that the donation was not for a purpose consistent with the requirements of the law. 

“Firstly, the donation was received from a foreign government entity or agency referred to as the Taipei Liaison Office in Cape Town. Secondly, it was in the form of 30 wheelchairs, valued at R75,000, and 2,000 kilograms of rice, valued at R56,000. The Commission has already started the process of instituting remedial processes in respect of these donations,” according to the IEC. 

Read more in Daily Maverick: How to see where and from whom South African political parties get their money from

The DA is listed as having the most donations in the last quarter, standing at just over R36-million. Its funders include the Fynbos Kapital Proprietary Limited, the Danish Liberal Democracy Programme as well the Friedrich Naumann Foundation.

The second largest donation came from one of the wealthiest women in South Africa Mary Slack who donated R10-million to the party.

IEC

IEC barrier tape outside a voting station in Durban, South Africa. (Photo: Gallo Images / Darren Stewart)

“DA’s in-kind donation was received from the party’s now routine German donor, Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF). The donation was made toward the party’s Johannesburg Whip Training, Youth Strategic Planning and Training Workshop, Protocol Training, Communications Training and Empowering Women in Politics training, among others. These are largely the same programmes that the donor funded for the party for a different region, namely, the Cape Metro. These donations are consistent with the requirements for foreign donations,” the IEC statement reads. 

Advocacy group My Vote Counts raised the issue of  individual donors not submitting adequate information. In a statement the organisation notes that showing only the initial and surname of donors is not enough.

“These kinds of disclosures undermine the essence of transparency which is central to the PPFA,” according to the grouping.

Read more in Daily Maverick: ANC’s Political Party Funding Act proposal ‘a threat to our democracy’ — civil society organisations

Other parties  which made declarations include ActionSA, IFP, PA and VF Plus while the ANC only declared R778,309.00 

The ANC made a late submission which showed that they had received donations from Elohim Erets Retailers CC, Iceburg Trading and Phepha MV Security Services (Pty) Ltd. 

The first two donations were made during the last quarter of the 2022/23 fiscal year (January 2023) and the last one was made during the first quarter of the 2023/24 fiscal year (April 2023).

Accordingly, the ANC was issued a request for representation in terms of section 15(1) of the Act. This requires the party to make written representations of the circumstances of the late declarations. Upon receipt of the requested representations, the Commission will evaluate them and make a decision on the next steps,” according to the IEC. DM

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