Johannesburg – Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has challenged AfriForum, labour union Solidarity and lobby group CapeXit – an organisation seeking the separation of the Western Cape from the rest of the country – to make their donor lists public.
Lesufi said he believed that some of the groups were receiving funding from organisations or businesses which were seeking to reverse the gains of a democratic South Africa. He said while some were interested in knowing who was funding the ANC, they should also disclose who is funding them.
“There are people that make money out of a non-racial South Africa in terms of business and they then take the same money they made out of a non-racist South Africa and then fund racist formations.
“We must ask AfriForum to open their books and tell us who is funding them. Formations like Solidarity, we must know who’s funding them.”
He said businesses who keep funding racist formations should be ashamed because they take the hard-earned money of black people and invest it in right-wing groups. He accused AfriForum of feeding the fears of white people.
“They are making money from international organisations that are known not to be supporting peace initiatives.
The amounts of funds and individuals that are funding AfriForum should be made known. They are a quasi-political party and there are business formations that are making money out of a non-racist South Africa.
’’When they raise funds they use my name, they are saying that they are funding people like me.”
Lesufi said he had lost count of how many lawsuits had been brought against him by groups like AfriForum and those refusing to see the face of a transformed South Africa.
While he refused to draw his family into the conversation, he said those around him had faced threats in the past from right-wingers, who accused him of trying to erase the legacy of Afrikanerdom in Gauteng.
Despite this, Lesufi said he was not afraid of racists and would do whatever it took to wipe out the remnants of apartheid in the province’s education system.
“They want some of our schools to be exclusive for the children. We cannot allow that. Now they want to remove the Western Cape from the rest of South Africa.
’’There’s a private deal by the DA and AfriForum which has gone to the Constitutional Court. We cannot allow that.”
Lesufi said what broke his heart was how some of these groups did not understand how much the liberation movements compromised to ensure a peaceful democratic dispensation.
The Star contacted the various organisations and asked them if they could reveal who was funding them. This is what some had to say.
“We are a Christian trade union and our funding is memberships and we have other funds. R10 of the funds we use to build universities and colleges, that’s R10 of our membership fee. We also have funds for litigation.
’’There’s the odd donation here and there but it’s not worth mentioning,” said Solidarity spokesperson Morne Malan.
“It’s rich coming from a government official. We are funded by our 300 000 members who make monthly contributions. Our finances are solid and legal. Mr Lesufi should first sweep at his own front door before making allegations,” said AfriForum’s Jacques Broodryk.
The Star tried getting comment from the organisers of CapeXit but they had not responded by the time of publication. DA national spokesperson Siviwe Gwarube could also not be reached to comment on the party’s relationship with CapeXit.