Political party donations to political newbie Action SA, from three members of the Oppenheimer family, is making waves on social media.
Rebecca Oppenheimer, Victoria Freudenheim, and Jessica Slack, who are the granddaughters of Harry and Bridget Oppenheimer and daughters of Mary Slack, donated a total of nearly R10 million to Action SA, led by businessman and former Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba.
Durban philanthropist and billionaire Martin Moshal appears to have his fingers in two pies, with donations to both the DA and Action SA.
Moshal made the highest contribution of R15 million to the DA and R5 million to Action SA.
Mashaba’s party appears to be growing on rich South Africans if the donations are anything to go by.
Mashaba said there was overwhelming interest from funders to help grow the party’s presence across all nine provinces.
“Our donors have communicated their satisfaction with ActionSA’s electoral showing and, already, ActionSA has received increased interest from funders across the board,” said Mashaba
“Importantly, our donors have been willing to do so openly and transparently in the manner envisioned by the Political Party Funding Act.”
EFF sour grapes
The Economic Freedom Fighters were among hundreds of parties that did not declare any funding.
The Political Party Funding Act requires donations of R100,000 and upwards to be disclosed by parties and donors to the IEC.
EFF treasure general Omphile Maotwe confirmed on Talk Radio 702 that the party had nothing to declare since it did not receive more than R100 000 from any donors.
“The Oppenheimers own those parties they donate to, we are not owned by anyone,” said Maotwe.
But a less diplomatic Floyd Shivambu outright blamed the family’s interest in politics for “collapsing negotiations between Action SA and EFF.”
“The Oppenheimer criminal syndicate is remaining true to its murderous foundation and nature of political interferences and micromanagement. They now own 3 political parties (ANC, DA and ActionSA), Shivambu posted.
Other users also slammed the Oppenheimers’ contribution to Action SA.
Twitter user Naledi Chirwa tweeted,” You must be on drugs if you believe the Oppenheimers are going to donate R16 million for you to be liberated.”
Shivambu was not alone in his views. Another user also blamed the coalition collapse between EFF and Action SA on the Oppenheimer money.
“Is it safe to say the Oppenheimers were the reason why ActionSA withdrew from coalition talks with the EFF? Phela there is no free lunch here, whoever feeds you controls you,” tweeted Andiswa Madikazi.
Just three days ago, EFF leader Julius Malema said the party was still open to engaging with Action SA.
“We have taken a conscious decision to be extremely patient with Mashaba because he is a political illiterate… He doesn’t know politics shem,” said Malema.
But Mashaba rejected claims that his party abandoned coalitions with the red berets because of funders.
In a statement, Action SA said it decided against working with that EFF because the party had already apparently gotten into bed with the ANC.
“The primary issue related to the proposal being dependent on ANC support. ActionSA committed during the campaign that we would never work with the ANC, and any arrangement that is dependent on ANC support would be a violation of that commitment to the South African people,” said Mashaba.
But Malema is still swooning over Mashaba, despite the rejection.
He remains steadfast that Mashaba only backed out of a coalition because of Oppenheimer money and not because of an alliance with the ANC.
“He took money from wrong people, when you take money from wrong people, you can’t take an independent decision,” said Malema.
“Mashaba loves the EFF idea, I listen to him, his perception and how he wants to articulate issues, he speaks completely EFF language,” said Malema.