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At first blush, ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu’s appeal for more taxpayers’ money to be split among parties for electioneering seems a bit rich. But then you read that he’s also calling for greater transparency on who funds each and every party and motivating the cash appeal by saying it will benefit democracy. Pause for thought. If we can see who is bankrolling whom, that will immeasurably improve democracy. It can be woven back into the electioneering machine, ammunition or whichever party and a legitimate vote-getter. Exposing nefarious funders and their cash piles mean they can be dealt with as society and law see fit. Using taxpayers’ money instead to promote democracy seems a much fairer and more legitimate approach. Certainly, a hell of a lot better than using billions in taxpayers’ money to set up a fleet of gravy trains. In fact, the private funding transparency may well flush some of them into the open. There’s a bigger chance of Mthembu being proved right on this one than there is of him shooting down any hope of a No Confidence debate succeeding, even if it is secret. Hope may spring eternal, but money buys the goods. – Chris Bateman
By Jan Gerber, News24
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