26 March 2023 | 02:35 PM

Watch: AmaBhungane’s counsel Steven Budlender in action in the #CR17 matter


Counsel for amaBhungane, Steven Budlender SC, delivered a rousing closing argument on Thursday (26 November) capping off an eight-hour hearing at the Constitutional Court in the matter of the Public Protector and Others v President of RSA and Others.

AmaBhungane is arguing for transparency regarding future donations to internal political party campaigns. We have argued that in order to exercise fully the right to vote, the public can’t be left in the dark as to who funded internal political campaigns.


*Advocacy release: CR17 – court kicks transparency question into touch

*Advocacy release: In CR17 case, amaB asks the court to uphold transparency

In his argument, Budlender set out why disclosure of internal political campaign financing is essential — and indeed required by the Executive Members’ Ethics Act — due to the conflicts of interest that arise following such donations.

Budlender also took the President to task for seeking a cost order against amaBhungane, a non-profit organisation litigating in the public interest, only to abandon the claim at the hearing — a strategy that could have a chilling effect on public interest litigation.

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Aisha Abdool Karim

Aisha is a freelance science and health reporter. She is joining the amaB team to work on a project about water and sanitation. Aisha’s passion for long-form narrative and investigative journalism was sparked while doing her master’s degree at Columbia University in New York. After graduating in 2018, she returned to South Africa and began working as a general beat reporter for the Daily Maverick. Aisha joined the Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism in 2020 to focus on science reporting. During her time there, she covered the COVID-19 pandemic extensively — from fact-checking harmful medical misinformation to unpacking the science behind vaccine development. Aisha’s special interests include analysing health systems and in-depth coverage of public health issues and infectious diseases. She also loves spreadsheets and digging through data.

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