'Hands off the public protector': Pledges from R8 to help her pay R900k

23 July 2019 - 10:59 By Nomahlubi Jordaan
A group has started a funding campaign to help public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane pay 15% of the costs in the Bankorp-Absa matter.
A group has started a funding campaign to help public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane pay 15% of the costs in the Bankorp-Absa matter.
Image: Simphiwe Nkwali

A group calling itself Democracy in Action has started a funding campaign to assist public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane pay the costs in the Bankorp-Absa bailout matter.

On Monday, the majority of the Constitutional Court dismissed Mkhwebane's application to set aside a Pretoria high court judgment last year which ordered that she pay 15% of the costs in that case from her own pocket. Mkhwebane is personally liable for an estimated R900,000.

The Constitutional Court ruling follows Mkhwebane's appeal against a 2018 Pretoria high court judgment that set aside the remedial action contained in her 2017 Absa-Bankorp report‚ which found that Absa should repay R1.1bn to the Reserve Bank.

The public protector's remedial actions also directed parliament to amend the constitution in order to change the mandate of the Bank.

Spokesperson for Democracy in Action, Thabo Mtsweni, said they started the campaign on Monday following the apex court judgment.

"We decided to start the campaign to help the public protector to pay the costs," Mtsweni said.

He said the response they received from the public since starting the campaign was "amazing".

The group has so far raised just over R8,000.

"Any South African can donate. It does not matter how much one donates. We welcome anything," Mtsweni said, adding that the least amount they received is R8 and the most is R1,500.

The group said it would not accept donations from any political party.

"We feel the public protector needs to be protected and allowed to do her job in fairness. She has received a lot of negative publicity."

Mtsweni said funds raised from the campaign will be taken in a form of a cheque to where Mkhwebane needs to make the payment.

The office of the public protector was not immediately available for comment.


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