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The DA will not return money donated to the party by the Gupta family, which owns The New Age newspaper, as there is nothing wrong with businesses donating money to political parties, says Helen Zille.
She insisted it was not hypocritical to accept a donation from the Guptas for her party’s coffers, but to criticise government sponsorship of The New Age’s business breakfast briefings.
Last week, Zille publicly snubbed the Gupta family by pulling out of a scheduled New Age breakfast briefing after revelations that state-owned companies were sponsoring the events to the tune of millions.
“What is wrong is when governments abuse their power to channel huge amounts of money to their donors’ private businesses under the guise of sponsorships,” Zille said. “If you can show me anywhere that a DA government has done that, you can call me hypocritical.”
The Weekend Argus on Sunday reported that, according to sources, Zille had gone to the Gupta’s compound in Saxonwold, Joburg, in 2011 to personally ask for a donation and had emerged with a “substantial” cheque.
The ANC committed several years ago to review private political party funding but as yet no legislation to regulate this is on the cards. The DA was one of the parties that Idasa took to court in a bid to get them to reveal their private sources of funding.