The big-name billionaires funding South Africa’s opposition

 ·30 Nov 2023

The Democratic Alliance has emerged as the biggest donor draw, according to the IEC’s latest Party Funding Disclosure Report for the second quarter of the 2023/24 financial year.

The party drew in close to R36.2 million in donor funding during the quarter, taking its total for the year so far up to R59 million.

The second quarter donations to the DA accounted for 88% of all declared donations over the period, with the party securing funding from billionaire families – the Oppenheimers and the Le Rouxs.

Six political parties made donation declarations, including Action SA, the ANC, the DA, the IFP, the PA and the Freedom Front Plus.

The total declaration amounted to R41.1 million, including late donations of R778,309.

The late donations declaration consists of three separate donations received by the ANC during the fourth quarter of the previous 2022/23 fiscal year and the first quarter of the current 2023/24 fiscal year.

The ANC did not declare any donation for the second quarter.

This is how much money was donated to the parties:

  • DA – R36,388,690
  • Action SA – R3,458,000
  • ANC – R778,309
  • PA – R225,000
  • VF Plus – R131,000
  • IFP – R112,473

The largest donation – to the DA – was received from an entity known as Fynbos Kapitaal Proprietary Limited.

This entity is not to be confused with Fynbos Ekwiteit (Pty) Ltd, which also made a large donation to the party in the first quarter. Both entities are linked to billionaire Capitec founder Michiel le Roux, who frequently donates to the party.

The second largest donation came from an individual by the name of Mary Slack – philanthropist and daughter of Harry Oppenheimer – another billionaire family.

These two donors donated amounts of R15 million and R10 million, respectively, making up the bulk of the DA’s declarations.

However, other large donations were also declared by the party, including Martin Moshal (R5 million), D Barnes (R3 million) and an international entity known as the Danish Liberal Democracy Programme (R1.5 million).

The rest of the donations of individual amounts below the R1 million mark were received in a combination of monetary and in-kind donations from a number of individuals and one regular international donor, totalling just over R1.5 million.

Other parties

ActionSA was the party to declare the second largest amount in donations – the two largest donations, constituting 86.8%, were received from two individual donors, namely; the party leader, Herman Mashaba (R2 million) and Martin Paul Moshal (R1 million), who is a regular donor to the party and has also donated to the DA.

Moshal is reportedly a friend of Mashaba’s and has been described as a “reclusive online gambling mogul” based in Sydney, Australia.

The rest of the donations were received from a number of sources including an entity that is equally a regular donor to the party, Shave & Gibson Group (Pty) Ltd, valued at R150,000.00.

Further donations were made by another entity known as Petrocam Trading (Pty) Ltd, valued at R200,000, and another party leader, Alan Beesley, valued at R108,000.

All of ActionSA’s declared donations were in monetary terms.

For the PA only one monetary donation made by the party leader, Gayton McKenzie. The value of the declared amount is R225,000.

VF Plus donations were in-kind in the form of 30 wheelchairs and 2,000 kilograms of rice. The respective value of these in-kind items is R75,000 and R56,000.

For the reporting quarter, all of the ANC’s declared donations were late declarations.

These comprise donations from three entities known as Elohim Erets Retailers CC (R150,000), Iceburg Trading (R428,309), and Phepha MV Security Services (Pty) Ltd (R200,000).

The first two donations were made during the last quarter of the 2022/23 fiscal year (January 2023) and the last one was made during the first quarter of the 2023/24 fiscal year (April 2023).

Accordingly, the ANC was issued a request for representation in terms of section 15(1) of the Act. This requires the party to make written representations of the circumstances of the late declarations.

“Upon receipt of the requested representations, the commission will evaluate them and make a decision on the next steps,” the IEC said.

Read: What would happen to the ANC, DA and EFF if elections were held tomorrow

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