DA's hypocrisy exposed - media statement issued by UDM President (6 October 2005)
Today saw the start of a two-day workshop sponsored by IDASA on funding of political parties, which we all know requires urgent attention, to promote transparency, accountability and fairness.

The participants in the workshop includes all the political parties, including representatives from the Tripartite Alliance, the Commission for Human Rights, the South African Council of Churches, big business, NGO’s, SANGOCO and other civil society bodies. The only exception to this broad gathering was the DA, who withdrew. The DA’s hypocrisy was exposed, when they argued that they would not participate in a forum discussing multi-party democracy whilst they believed in a two-party system, which they believe would include them.

Is the DA a relevant political party to have as the Official Opposition, especially when they argue against multi-party democracy which is enshrined in the Constitution? It gives new meaning to their energetic support for and use of the floor-crossing legislation. It is clear their intention is purely to collapse all other parties into themselves or the ANC. These self-proclaimed champions of democracy are showing their true colours with arguments like these.

The question is whether parties of such arrogance who are openly against multi-party democracy should receive funding from the corporate sector. The DA’s attitude further reinforces the perception that they are building a right-wing political enclave which will only focus on promoting and defending the rights of a minority.

The workshop is addressing an issue that is critical to the health of our democracy and society. It is imperative that political party funding is regulated. This must happen, either through an independent body that receive corporate funding and distributes it to the parties, or through the IEC. Obviously, all the parties with proven electoral support must together decide on the criteria for the equitable distribution of these funds. Such a system will remove the corruption and perception of corruption where donors buy favours from parties. It would also remove the fear of donors that they will be punished by the ruling party for supporting other parties.