South Africa: On the Money - Political Funding Transparency Will Make It Easier to Thwart Corruption

opinion

We should not turn a blind eye to how much money CR17 raised and spent during the campaign for the ANC presidency...the revelations shine a spotlight on the outsized influence of money on SA politics.

"Politics", remarked the German-American socialist leader Oscar Ameringer, "is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other." Until the election of Jacob Zuma as president of the ANC, the model described by Ameringer was also the model used by the ANC and the government it leads; one that President Cyril Ramaphosa attempted to return to during his campaign to become ANC president.

Former president Jacob Zuma and his allies disrupted this funding model by raising funds for the party and for themselves, directly from state-owned entities (and allegedly also from foreign governments or their proxies), or indirectly by getting donations from private companies involved in corrupt tenders with state-owned entities.

This indirect fund-raising system became known as "State Capture", a system that brought enormous financial riches to those in charge of the private companies that were allowed to "capture" the state-owned entities, as well as to their political benefactors and...

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