Citizen Reporter
Reporter
1 minute read
2 Dec 2021
12:58 pm

Court rules MPs must disclose campaign donations – but CR17 funds exempt

Citizen Reporter

The Economic Freedom Fighters have previously approached the court to unseal the banking records related to the CR17 campaign.

The CR17 campaign led to Cyril Ramaphosa being elected ANC president in 2017. Picture: Neil McCartney

The North Gauteng High Court on Thursday ruled that members of Parliament (MPs) should be obliged to disclose all internal party campaign donations.

The ruling, however, “shall have no retrospective effect”. This means that the source of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s CR17 campaign funds will remain secret.

The CR17 campaign led to Ramaphosa being elected ANC president in 2017.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have previously approached the court to unseal the banking records related to the CR17 campaign.

The records formed part of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s infamous report into the CR17 campaign’s finances.

ALSO READ: High court dismisses EFF case on CR17 bank statements

On Thursday, News24 reported that the North Gauteng High Court found that the Executive Ethics Code was “unconstitutional, unlawful and invalid”.

The ethics code states that MPs must disclose any benefits they receive, however, it does not require them to disclose “donations made to campaigns for their election to positions within political parties”.

“The only way in which effectively to meet the constitutional objectives of accountable, transparent and open government, and to ensure that members are not put at risk of a conflict between their official responsibilities and their private interests is for the code to make it clear that members are obliged in all instances to make disclosures of internal campaign donations received from members of the public,” the court ruled.

The court ordered that the ruling would “have no retrospective effect and shall be suspended for 12 months to allow for the defect to be corrected”. 

The public’s constitutional right to information and right to engage in political activities, the court added, means that private campaign donations should be disclosed. 

NOW READ: Mkhwebane ‘didn’t have authority to investigate CR17 campaign’