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.
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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.