The organisation Open Secrets released a report this week about business people who gave money to the National Party during apartheid. The people involved include Christo Wiese revealed as one of the many National Party funders, Bertie Lubner and Eric Samson.
Hennie Van Vuuren, Open Secrets research associate, says the report provides fascinating insights and first-hand perspective of the type of letters that were written by donors. It reveals internal documents, mentioning the names of corporates that gave funds not only to the National Party (NP) but also to PW Botha.
We've only released a couple of documents to give readers an idea of who some of donors were.— Hennie Van Vuuren, Research Associate of Open Secrets at Institute for Justice and Reconciliation
Van Vuuren says these links between business and politicians at the time are revelations and reminders that corporations involved would want to shy away from.
Van Vuuren says they spent time at the Free State archives of the National Party, where over three kilometres of documents that are stored at the University of the Free State.
These include private letters and correspondence of leaders of the NP in the twentieth century, amongst those FW de Klerk and PW Botha, he adds.
We're not suggesting that these were crimes of corruption, saysVan Vuuren. He goes on to say that these are indicative of the type of support the NP enjoyed from business, who were happy to fund them under conditions of anonymity.
The very least we should be doing is to remind these people they cannot very neatly sweep these things under the carpet.— Hennie Van Vuuren, Research Associate of Open Secrets at Institute for Justice and Reconciliation
This week the South African History Archive will be taking the Reserve Bank to court to get access to documents the archive believes contain evidence of apartheid era financial crimes.
Toerien van Wyk, SA History Archives Co-Director, says they have requested copies of evidence obtained by the reserve bank as part of their investigation into substantial contraventions of laws that regulate fraud and precious metal smuggling.
Specifically fraud through manipulation of the financial rand, you currency, foreign exchange and gold smuggling.— Toerien van Wyk, Co-Director, SA History Archives
Van Wyk says they specifically requested documents dated between 1980 and 1995.
Click on the audio below to listen to full interview: