Par­ties wary of pro­posed trust fund

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - CRAIG DODDS

IT SOUNDED LIKE a po­ten­tial break­through in the stale­mate over pri­vate fund­ing of po­lit­i­cal par­ties, but op­po­si­tion par­ties have met ANC trea­sur­ergen­eral Zweli Mkhize’s pro­posal of a trust fund for do­na­tions with sus­pi­cion.

“That would only be fundrais­ing for the ANC,” said Cope leader Mo­siuoa Lekota.

“I can see why it was pro­posed by the ANC,” said DA na­tional spokesman Mmusi Maimane.

It would de­stroy op­po­si­tion par­ties be­cause the money would in all like­li­hood be di­vided pro­por­tion­ally ac­cord­ing to the par­ties’ rep­re­sen­ta­tion in Par­lia­ment, mean­ing the ma­jor­ity party would re­ceive the lion’s share, Maimane said.

“And so you could end up in a space where you keep who­ever the in­cum­bent is al­ways in power, be­cause they would just have more money.”

While elec­tions couldn’t be bought, fund­ing for cam­paigns was crit­i­cal to the out­come, he said.

Lekota said the ANC was hop­ing to “use the names of all the other par­ties to cre­ate a fund for them­selves that will gain cred­i­bil­ity”, on the ba­sis that the money was be­ing shared.

“They are al­ways look­ing at how to en­rich them­selves. I would never sup­port some­thing like that,” he said.

Mkhize re­cently floated the idea of the trust fund as a way of avoid­ing sus­pi­cion that pri­vate donors to po­lit­i­cal par­ties were ex­pect­ing some­thing in re­turn.

He elab­o­rated on the idea at a Cape Town Press Club lunch on Tues­day.

“What we want to dis­cour­age is a kind of at­ti­tude that if there is sup­port for po­lit­i­cal par­ties, there must be some cor­rup­tion in it – be­cause there isn’t,” he said.

United Demo­cratic Move­ment ( UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa said he would sup­port the idea, but the for­mula for di­vid­ing the money would be the “con­tentious” is­sue.

craig.dodds@inl.co.za

PIC­TURE: PABALLO THEK­ISO

NO MEAN FEET: For­mer pres­i­dent Thabo Mbeki and his wife Zanele had to step out of their mo­tor­cade and walk – with their body­guards around them – when their car got stuck in a traf­fic jam in cen­tral Joburg yes­ter­day.

BLUE LIGHTS USE­LESS: The mo­tor­cade comes to a halt. Mbeki was at­tend­ing the me­mo­rial ser­vice of ANC vet­eran Regi­nald Septem­ber at the Joburg city hall in the CBD.

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