Democracy In Action’s crowdfunding for Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has now reached close to R110 000 with the civil society organisation some way off reaching the R900 000 mark that would equate to the legal fees Mkhwebane is supposed to pay.
Last month, following the Constitutional Court’s ruling that Mkhwebane had lied under oath and acted in bad faith in the matter of the South African Reserve Bank’s R1.15 billion bailout of Absa, the civil society organisation threw its weight behind Mkhwebane saying she had not been treated fairly by the courts.
On Wednesday alone the Pretoria High Court ruled that Mkhwebane was liable to personally pay 7.5 % of the legal costs for the DA and the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac) after both had successfully challenged her report on the controversial Estina Dairy Farm project.
KwaZulu-Natal based activist Thamsanqa Mthimkhulu is amongst several donors who have contributed towards the campaign and he said the fact that Mkhwebane had lost certain court cases does not mean she should be removed from her office and that it was wrong of the judiciary to rule that she should pay a portion of the legal fees.
“These decisions by the courts (to have Mkhwebane pay a portion of the legal fees) is going to stop people in offices such as hers from doing their job out of fear that they will be taken to court and ordered to pay a portion of the legal fees.