The Constitutional Court on Tuesday morning upheld a December ruling from the Pretoria High court, which found the Executive Ethics Code was unconstitutional insofar as it doesn’t require members to disclose donations unless they personally benefited.
The ruling comes on the back of a challenge to the code from investigative journalism outfit, amaBhungane.
The Constitutional Court’s ruling, which was handed down by Justice Steven Majiedt, found the code, in its current form, falls short of transparency, accountability and openness.
It also found excluding donations from disclosure undermines the Ethics Act and the conflict of interests regime, which it said was crucial in the fight against corruption.
The president has been given 12 months to remedy the defects in the code.
The case emanates from President Cyril Ramaphosa’s successful review of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s CR17 report, in which she found he had breached the code by not disclosing a R500,000 donation from former Bosasa CEO, Gavin Watson.
However, Tuesday’s ruling will not have an effect on that, as it’s not retrospective.