On Tuesday (February 28, 2017), investigative journalists from 20 countries launched a campaign asking 7000 members of parliament to disclose their tax returns.
The #DiscloseYourTax campaign is aimed at bringing greater transparency into politics by asking people who receive public money and make laws for the public good to disclose what they own and what they pay.
The campaign was inspired by a ground-breaking investigation by Pakistani journalist Umar Cheema in 2012 which found that 70% of Pakistani’s 446 MPs had failed to file tax returns, including the president of Pakistan and 34 government ministers.
The investigation led Pakistan to join Norway, Sweden and Finland as countries where MPs are obligated to disclose their tax returns publicly.
In South Africa, amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism sent requests to more than 400 MPs to disclose their tax returns voluntarily.
This included representatives from the ANC, DA and EFF.