Johannesburg - In the wake of their “Hands Off The Public Protector” campaign to raise legal funds for Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane, civil society organisation Democracy In Action chairperson Thabo Mtsweni said they would throw their weight behind any Chapter 9 institution if they felt it was not treated fairly by the courts.
The organisation on Monday launched its campaign to fundraise to pay for Mkhwebane’s legal fees after the Constitutional Court ruled that Mkhwebane had lied under oath and acted in bad faith in the case of the South African Reserve Bank R1.125 billion bailout of Absa.
The court ruled that Mkhwebane had to pay 15 percent of the costs meaning that she was now liable to cough up R900 000 of her own money towards footing the legal bill.
However, Democracy In Action have jumped to her defence saying that they were targeting to raise the required R900 000 and more in an attempt to help her pay the bill.
Mtsweni said that from the moment their campaign was opened yesterday afternoon they had managed to raise R8 800, this was at the last time of counting at midnight with the lowest they had received being R8.00 while the most they had received from an individual was R1500.
“We really feel that the judgment in court yesterday was unfair because the public protector was just going about her daily job and in the course of doing her work she finds that she now has to pay from own pocket and we feel that the judgment was very unfortunate,” Mtsweni said.
He said that they would open the campaign until they had raised as much as they could and that if it was not enough then Mkhwebane would have to meet them halfway or add to however much they would have collected.
“We have not targeted anyone specifically, we have opened it up to the public, to organisations that want to assist the Public Protector. We are looking for anyone that wants to protect the office of the Public Protector with this cost order,” Mtsweni said.