Oppenheimers grease Mashaba’s political machinery

Johannesburg – Former Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba’s ActionSA has emerged as the biggest beneficiary of the donations from the powerful and wealthy family of the Oppenheimers.

Rebecca Oppenheimer, the granddaughter of mining industrialist Harry Oppenheimer and daughter of Mary Slack, pumped over R3,3 million into the coffers of ActionSA on September 16, two months just before the local government elections.

The donation was the second from the family to a political party to be published by the Independent Electoral Commission, in compliance with the recently promulgated Political Party Funding Act.

The second quarter report on funding shows that ActionSA also received R3,3 million from philanthropist Victoria Freudenheim on 17 September while Jessica Slack-Jell – another granddaughter of Harry Oppenheimer – also donated R3,3 million to Mashaba’s party on the same day.

Another big donor to the party this quarter was entrepreneur and philanthropist Martin Moshal, who coughed out R5 million, also on 17 September.

In total, ActionSA’s donation for the quarter came to R16,9 million, which was paid between July and September this year.

President Cyril Ramaphosa made two donations of R200 000 and R160 000 respectively to his broke ANC, which has been struggling to pay salaries of its staff members.

President Cyril Ramaphosa casts his vote in the 2021 municipal elections in Chiawelo, Soweto. Picture: Twitter/ @MbalulaFikile

African Rainbow Minerals Limited, owned by another mining magnate Patrice Motsepe, who also owns soccer club Mamelodi Sundowns, donated R5 million to the ruling party on September 9.

Patrice Motsepe. (Photo by Gallo Images / Frennie Shivambu)

The party’s investment arm, Chancellor House Trust, was the biggest donor with a windfall of R15 million on 31 August.

The governing party received over R22,6 million in August and September.

The country’s official opposition, the DA, received R16, 8 million in donations this quarter. Moshal was the biggest contributor to the party’s purse, donating R15 million on September 22.

Giant media group Naspers donated R1 million to the DA on September 10.

November 17 2019 Democratic Alliance new leader John Steenhuisen. Pic Veli Nhlapo

“Political parties have disclosed a total of three donations from foreign sources, with a combined value of R 467 007.43. The DA declared two of the donations, valued at R 347 007.43 and ActionSA disclosed a donation of R120 000.00,” the IEC said in a statement.

“All these foreign donations appear in compliance with the legislative requirements set out in section 8(4) of the Party Funding Act. According to the declarations by both the receiving parties and the donors themselves, the donations were used for policy development, training, and skills development of party officials,” the institution added.

The disclosures, for the second quarter, did not include those of the EFF.

To read more political news and views from this week’s paper, click here. 

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