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Criminal and civil sanctions may be meted out against political parties that fail to disclose donations made to them

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said on Friday that the Political Funding Act allows for criminal and civil proceedings to be instituted against parties that fail to disclose the donations made to them.

All registered political parties are required to disclose donations above R100 000 made by a single donor to a single party in a financial year, in line with the Political Funding Act.

On Thursday, the IEC released its second quarter report on the disclosure of donations to political parties.

Only six political parties disclosed the donations made to them for the period covered by the IEC’s report, which is from July to September 2021.

The six parties are the ANC, ActionSA, the DA, Abantu Integrity Movement (AIM) which received R112 386.04; the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) which received R235 000.00 and Patricia De Lille’s GOOD party which received R122 900.00.

READ MORE: ANC received about R22 million in donations, ActionSA and DA about R16 million

The IEC said on Friday that there are two phases in the disclosure of funds donated to political parties, the first phase entailing that the commission receives, records and publishes declarations made on a quarterly basis.

“The second phase of the disclosure arrangement involves the submission by political parties of audited financial statements after the end of the financial year.

“An auditor is duty bound to express an opinion on whether the financial affairs of the party have been carried out in line with the provisions of the act, including whether all donations were disclosed to the commission.

The IEC said at this stage it is neither empowered to probe political parties that did not disclose the donations made to them nor is it able to force political parties to make disclosures.

“We urge South Africans to wait until the end of the financial year for a report from the commission which will stipulate all disclosures made and deal with non-disclosures by political parties noting that the act provides both criminal and civil sanctions which may be meted out by courts.”

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