Parties wary of proposed trust fund
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.
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.