Voters have right to know who funds political parties, rules ConCourt
Johannesburg - The Constitutional Court has confirmed a Western Cape High Court ruling that certain parts of the Promotion Access to Information Act (PAIA) fail to provide for the recording of private political party funding. The court ruled that voters have the right to know who funds political parties.
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng read the judgment on political party funding on Thursday and stressed the importance of the public, voters and the media’s right to access information that pertains to the funding of political funding. The Chief Justice said this information had to be recorded and preserved for easy access.
“It is declared that information on private funding of political parties and independent candidates must be recorded, persevered and made accessible,” said Mogoeng.
“It is declared that information on the private funding of political parties and independent candidates is essential for the effective exercise of the right to make political choices and to participate in elections.”
The case on the disclosure of political party funding was brought lobby group My Vote Counts NPC who argued that the disclosure of such information is critical for voters.
The High Court in the Western Cape ruled last year that certain parts of the PAIA Act were unconstitutional because they did not provide for the disclosure of private funding for political parties. It gave Parliament 18 months to make amendments to the legislation.
The Constitutional Court has confirmed this ruling but said it would not make a directive to Parliament because of the issue of separation of powers.
Mogoeng ordered that the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services pay for the legal costs of for My Vote Counts.