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Independent Zackie Achmat says he won't adhere to ‘flawed’ Political Party Funding Act ahead of elections


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Independent Zackie Achmat says he won't adhere to ‘flawed’ Political Party Funding Act ahead of elections

Independent candidate Zackie Achmat
Photo by Gary van Wyk
Independent candidate Zackie Achmat

16th May 2024

By: Sashnee Moodley
Senior Deputy Editor Polity and Multimedia


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Independent candidate Zackie Achmat has written to President Cyril Ramaphosa, the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC), the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the South African Police Service (Saps) regarding the Political Party Funding Act (PPFA), which he says is a threat to democracy.

Under the new PPFA, independents were required to administer all campaign funding through personal bank accounts, which Achmat said forced all independent candidates to run their campaigns and offices as sole proprietorships.


“Section 12A(4) of the PPFA requires independent candidates to deposit all donations into a separate but personal bank account, effectively forcing me to shut down a registered non-profit company that has serious internal and external oversight. Instead, I would be forced to have two personal bank accounts, a private one and a political one. I refuse to do this because I believe in the daily oversight over my campaign account on which I do not have signing power,” he explained.

Achmat, who established the Zackie2024 campaign as a non-profit company, said the Act had created loopholes that would make it more difficult to hold parties and independents accountable by requiring them to be transparent and thereby deepen democracy.


He explained that his campaign’s bank account was controlled by independent directors and senior campaign staff, ensuring accountability.

“Since independents were not governed by the PPFA before the amendment was signed into law, Zackie2024 was not obliged to disclose its funding to the IEC, even though we attempted to submit reporting. Holding ourselves to the same scrutiny as parties, we voluntarily disclosed our donors and funding on the website. Up to this point we have been more diligent in disclosing than the PPFA requires and therefore we should be supported not disrupted,” Achmat stated.

His campaign said the new requirement by the Act would mean contracts would need to be changed and payrolls would need to be transferred to a bank account in his personal capacity.

“Our suppliers, includin printing companies, taxi drivers, caterers, t-shirt manufacturers and printers, would have to be paid out of a private bank account which Zackie Achmat would have to administer personally. This is preposterous,” his campaign said.

It wanted Ramaphosa, the NPA, the IEC and the Saps to recognise that the Act’s provision was unconstitutional and said Achmat would not be adhering to the new requirements and would legally challenge it after the elections.

“We are not avoiding accountability, openness and oversight, instead the Zackie2024 campaign demands it. The PPFA opens the door to fraud and corruption with its requirement that independents open personal bank accounts to receive and disburse funds,” he said.


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