ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba said his party was proud of its association with its donors
A DA-ActionSA marriage is imminent, says Cape Peninsula University of Technology political analyst Dr Kuhle Zwakala after it emerged that the parties were funded by the same donor – the Oppenheimer family.
“ActionSA and the DA will be obligated to form a coalition where numbers permit. The egos of individuals in both parties, and their recent divorce, is what prevents them from reaching an agreement,” he said.
He was reacting to the IEC’s release of its second quarter funding disclosures report which showed that the Oppenheimer family, businessman Martin Moshal and Naspers, owners of Media24, collectively donated more than R30 million to ActionSA and the DA ahead of this year’s local government elections.
Moshal emerged as a key funder of the DA with a contribution of R15m while Naspers contributed R1m to the party.
Naspers was the propaganda arm of the apartheid regime, serving to defend the interests of the white minority in South Africa.
ActionSA received donations amounting to more than R16.9 million to fund its November 1 municipal elections campaign.
The report revealed that Rebecca Oppenheimer contributed R3.3m, Victoria Freudenheim R3.3m and Jessica Slack-Jell R3.3m to ActionSA, while Moshal contributed R5m to the party’s coffers.
Major contributors to the cash-strapped ANC were African Rainbow Minerals, owned by Patrice Motsepe, with a R5.8m contribution, while the Chancellor House Trust contributed R15m and NEP Consulting R1m.
The party’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, also contributed a total of R366 000.
“By default individuals or private companies that fund political parties become their handlers consequently, their mandate comes from those funders and not their constituencies. The Gupta era is a good case study,” said Zwakala.
But ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba said his party was proud of its association with its donors because these were South Africans who were committed to the country and had generously donated to its political future.
“Importantly, our donors have been willing to do so openly and transparently in the manner envisioned by the PPFA (Political Party Funding Act).
“Our donors have communicated their satisfaction with ActionSA’s electoral showing and, already, ActionSA has received increased interest from funders across the board,” Mashaba said.
DA Federal finance chairperson Dr Dion George said they voluntarily made such disclosures to the IEC.
While confirming donations and the amounts, Dr George expressed concerns about the IEC’s report, saying it failed to reveal which political parties did not make their financial disclosures.
“This needs to be resolved urgently. The report does not achieve its stated objective of ensuring transparency in the funding of political parties.
“The ANC has declared a R15 million donation from the Chancellor House Trust. That is their fundraising entity, clearly structured to contravene the act.”
ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe said it was possible that the party’s treasury unit had made such disclosures to the IEC.
Most of the donors could not be reached for comment on Thursday while others did not respond at the time of going to print.
Professor Zwelinzima Ndevu, director at the School of Public Leadership at Stellenbosch University, said: “The determination on who you co-govern with is normally informed by a number of interrelated things, for example funding, which is important for future campaigns (with provincial and national elections coming), your support base and their attitude towards other political parties, policy and principles, lastly the issue of positions. I think the funding will not be the sole determining factor. However, it does play a big role.”