Political parties have no obligation to voters, Speaker Baleka Mbete says in an affidavit filed in the Constitutional Court. A Beeld report notes that the ANC chairperson filed the affidavit in her capacity as Speaker to oppose an application by the organisation My Vote Counts, which is seeking transparency on the financial affairs of political parties. ‘The only obligation a political party has is towards its members and not outsiders – even if those outsiders voted for it.’ Mbete argues that every-day complaints about corruption are not reason enough to force political parties to disclose their funding activities. Axolile Notywala, a director of My Vote Counts, says voters’ rights are being infringed ‘by a lack of sufficient and accurate information about where the party’s loyalty probably is’. Mbete says that if voters felt uninformed, they would stay away on voting day, but voting numbers have remained high since 1994. The Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution’s Lawson Naidoo said Mbete’s views were in conflict with the ANC’s resolutions taken at the Polokwane and Mangaung conferences as well as SA’s commitments to the United Nations and AU.
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