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10 Mar 2008 15:53
Patricia de Lille’s Independent Democrats (ID) are calling on the African National Congress (ANC) and the Democratic Alliance (DA) to join them in setting up a multiparty committee to debate party political funding and make recommendations.
Calling it “the privatisation of democracy”, the ID’s chief whip, Lance Greyling, said on Monday: “South Africans have been exposed to scandal after scandal when it comes to party funding in South Africa, ranging from the arms deal to the Oilgate saga and Brett Kebble, and now other dubious transactions by Chancellor House.
“The DA and the ANC must remember that when an individual or company buys influence with political parties, it marginalises the voice of the ordinary voter, in the process inflicting extensive damage on transparency and accountability, the cornerstones of our democracy.”
He said the country needed to develop a proper party funding regime that enshrines the principles of accountability, transparency and equity.
In response to a parliamentary question by De Lille last year, President Thabo Mbeki said political parties in Parliament should debate the issue and formulate legislation for the executive to consider. The ID responded by tabling a motion calling for the establishment of an ad-hoc multiparty committee to debate party political funding and formulate recommendations.
This motion later lapsed due to the fact that no time could be found on the parliamentary programme to debate political party funding. But the ID once again submitted this motion on the second day of Parliament this year, and has subsequently been informed that there will be no time to debate any motion until the end of June.
“It is crystal clear that the ANC, like the DA, is not serious about regulating political-party funding,” Greyling said. “Neither do they appear to see the issue as being important enough to warrant a debate in Parliament.”—I-Net Bridge
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