19 November 2018

South Africa: Money and Democracy, the Bonds That Tie


The nexus of money, power and politics is something that most democracies grapple with in different ways. It is obvious that the more money you have in politics, the greater are the chances of your victory in whichever battle you are currently fighting. Sometimes, the difference in resources can appear almost insurmountable. So, the revelation that President Cyril Ramaphosa's campaign for ANC presidency received a donation of R500,000 from Bosasa is welcome fodder for his opponents, whether they be in the EFF, the DA or within the ANC itself, even if there could well be limits to how useful this is to them.

It is important to consider what limits there are to whether regulation can stop money from achieving political results.

The company that gave Ramaphosa's campaign the money, Bosasa, is no stranger to controversy. It has previously given money to ANC MP Vincent Smith, and been at the centre of various claims of corruption. It is obvious that a company that receives government contracts would have a financial interest in the outcome of an ANC leadership election. It is also no surprise that a...

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