Funds raised for Mkhwebane may be used to 'defend our democracy' – NGO
Durban – In the wake of the Constitutional Court, setting aside the personal costs order against Public Protector, Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane in the SA Revenue Service (SARS) rogue unit matter, the non-governmental organisation that crowdfunded for her says if all orders are set aside, it will use funds raised to "defend our democracy".
Thabo Mtsweni, the chairperson of Democracy in Action, told Independent Media on Sunday that since there were two more personal cost orders that were being appealed in court, they will adopt a wait-and-see strategy.
He said if the orders were set aside, the money collected through their successful crowdfunding campaigns would be used to fight other legal battles where there is an abuse of the law to settle personal and political scores.
Mtsweni said this in response to questions of what was going to happen to the money they have raised since it was not likely that the courts would in future issue personal costs orders against cheaper nine institutions bosses. He said at the present moment, some of the money will go to a court challenge they instituted against the national assembly against its "rushed rules" regarding the process to remove heads of chapter nine institutions.
The national assembly adopted the rules after there was a motion to get rid of Mkhwebane which was initiated by the Democratic Alliance (DA) but viciously opposed by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and some ANC members of Parliament.
"So, all that money, in a nutshell, should be directed at projects aimed at defending our democracy," Mtsweni said.
He said R260 000 of the money was recently paid to the lawyers of the Reserve Bank for the ABSA-CIEX report matter.
Mkhwebane's spokesperson, Oupa Segalwe, said the PP was not involved in soliciting the donations. He also confirmed that two more personal costs orders are being appealed.
"The Democracy in Action crowdfunding initiative related to the personal costs order concerning the SA Reserve Bank/CIEX matter, which the ConCourt ruled on in 2019. The latest ConCourt decision was for a different matter which involved the interim interdict on the implementation of remedial action in the so-called “Rogue Unit” matter.
"The PP was not involved in soliciting the donations. Democracy in Action, on their own, raised the funds and paid directly to the attorneys of the Reserve Bank. The bill came up to R260 000. There are two more personal cost orders currently being appealed. One relates to the Vrede (Estina dairy project) matter and the other has to do with the SARS (Zuma tax affairs) case," he said.IOL