The leader of ATM said he decided to donate to the Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane fund because the Public Protector “has been personally attacked". File picture: Bongani Shilubane/African News Agency (ANA).

Durban - The leader of the African Transformation Movement (ATM) said he decided to donate to the Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane fund because the Public Protector “has been personally attacked.”

On Friday, ATM’s leader Vuyo Zungula donated an undisclosed sum to the fund and refused to reveal the exact amount, saying it was meant “to avoid analysis on the amount because it is not about the amount but rather about the principle of justice and fairness.”

Justifying the donation, perhaps the first one to be publicly made by a leader of a political party, Zungula said he had to prove by deed that he supports Mkhwebane.

“Advocate Mkhwebane has been personally attacked and this is beyond disagreeing with the institution. It’s a personal attack meant to make her not to do her work without fear or favour. This is because the ruling class wants to maintain the status quo and ensure no-one ever goes against them. As a South African who wants equal treatment and all to be equal in the country, it is my duty to support people who are victimised when doing their job,” Zungula said.

Zungula, whose party has in the past issued statements in support of Mkhwebane, said the office of the Public Protector is a quasi-judicial body, yet no personal costs have ever been handed to any member of the judiciary even though a number of their rulings get overturned by higher courts.

“Recently the Seriti Commission of inquiry has been set aside but there was no costs order to the retired judge who presided over the commission, no cuts or penalties to the salary he earns as a retired judge, no clawback to the fees he earned chairing the commission (the commission cost R137m).This further confirms people are not treated equally and fairly, and we as a party and South Africans cannot sit and watch whilst the elite victimise Advocate Mkhwebane who has been given the responsibility of being a Public Protector,” he said.

He said this was not his last donation as he would donate to help those who are being victimised.

“As long as there are people victimised by the system, I will always do my bit to support those who aren’t favoured by the system and (the) ruling class.”

Meanwhile, the Mkhwebane fund which was started in July by Democracy in Action in order to pay costs personally levied on her by the Constitutional Court in the Absa-Bankorp matter, had amassed R139 000 by Saturday.

Mkhwebane’s costs are estimated to be around R900 000.

The chairperson of the foundation, Thabo Mtsweni said the donations were still coming through from all corners of the country and some parts of the continent since the controversial ruling was made in July.  

Political Bureau