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Papers filled to force parties to divulge donors

Papers were lodged on Thursday in the Western Cape High Court aimed at eventually forcing parties to divulge their donors.

 

To this end, NGO My Vote Counts (MVC) is taking on the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA).

It says PAIA is not effective in helping them get to this information.

MVC supported by Right2Know says it’s crucial that voters know who funds the respective parties on the ballot paper.

The NGO previously asked the Constitutional Court to rule on the disclosure of private party funding. But the court ruled that the challenge starts with PAIA.

My Vote Counts’ Janine Ogle says, “PAIA is not capable of affording the electoral citizenry the info to which they’re entitled, about the way political parties vying for these votes are funded. That is the context with unique demands to which PAIA does not address itself. So, in brief, PAIA’s shortfalls include disclosure under PAIA is not automatic, and is triggered only once a request has been made for info.”

MVC’s own experience proved inadequacies in the Act. “MVC sent PAIA requests to all 13 parties in Parliament only four got back to us, and none agreed to disclose,” adds Ogle.

It’s not clear exactly how the legislation should be amended. But MVC says it’s currently researching various international models.

 

 

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