Statement on the so-called leaked emails and party political funding
12 August 2019
The South African Communist Party joins the African National Congress (6 August 2019) and the Presidency (10 August 2019) in expressing deep concern regarding the so-called leaked emails purportedly containing details of contributors to the election of President Cyril Ramaphosa. The SACP welcomes the response by the ANC, in particular welcoming the fact that “President Ramaphosa… has acted openly and transparently by providing a detailed account to the Public Protector (Adv Busisiwe Mkhwebane) on these matters”. The SACP fully agrees with the ANC that the so-called “leaked emails are therefore nothing but a calculated manoeuvre to defocus and distract (our country) from the immediate task of (addressing) socio-economic issues and dealing with the challenges of our economy”.
According to the Presidency the “information, supposedly held only by the Public Protector, includes bank statements of third parties, which record private transactions and which are strictly confidential…” To this extent, and taking into account the fact that leadership contest at the last national conference of the ANC did not involve one side only, there can be no other conclusion than that the so-called leak is a deliberate function of a wider politically motivated agenda. The ANC was correct in characterising it as “an attempt to undermine public confidence in President Ramaphosa”.
In addition, there is a judicial process under way. There has to be an investigation into all the motives underpinning the departure from the credible process of the rule of law, as the conduct bears all the hallmarks of abuse of office. If left unattended, the growing concern that the credibility of the Public Protector is decaying under the stewardship of the incumbent will become more widespread. This concern emanates from the damning court findings against her, including a reasonable apprehension of bias on her part and the fact that she advanced falsehoods in the last Constitutional Court litigation process and misrepresented certain facts under oath. The SACP reiterates its call for Parliament, as soon as it resumes its work, to conduct an inquiry into her fitness to hold office on the basis of all the damning court findings against her.
The SACP resolutely rejects being drawn into a one-sided focus on the fundraising details of the leadership contest associated with the last conference of the ANC. It would be appropriate for ANC members and the public at large to receive a full disclosure of the sources of all the funds that were donated, received and used in the course of the contest, regardless of candidates involved.
For the above reasons, the SACP is of the view that it would be in the best interests of the ANC and our movement as a whole to consider regulating funding for internal leadership campaigns as strongly argued by the President himself prior to and at the last NEC meeting.
The issue of party funding both for individuals and their parties must be comprehensively addressed by Parliament, taking the whole picture into account. All MPs are direct beneficiaries of the funds donated to their different parties to support their election as MPs, over and above their respective congress or conference donations.
The SACP highlights these issues having been among the first to call for legislation to regulate party political funding, and congratulates President Ramaphosa for signing the Political Party Funding Bill into law this year.
Issued by Alex Mohubetswane Mashilo, National Spokesperson & Head of Communications, SACP, 12 August 2019