Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has revealed that she has paid a Constitutional Court personal costs order thanks to R260,000 raised by members of the public.
Mkhwebane revealed this during a presentation to parliament’s justice and correctional services portfolio committee on Saturday.
Last year, the Constitutional Court upheld a judgment that Mkhwebane should personally pay costs for the case involving the SA Reserve Bank.
“The personal costs order has been paid up and again that shows the issue of the public paying for my costs because I have been doing the public’s work, to defend the public,” said Mkhwebane
Mkhwebane thanked those who contributed to the amount but she said she was not involved in the collection of the money.
“I only informed the people who were collecting the money that ‘this is the bill I have received’, and they paid the R260,000 which has been owed,” said Mkhwebane.
The payment came after an organisation called Democracy in Action started crowdfunding to pay Mkhwebane’s bill.
During the presentation, Mkhwebane further defended her office over the amount of money it spends defending matters in court.
She had been asked by MPs about the money spent on legal fees.
“I must indicate that it’s a concern for me … that this is portrayed that this institution is the only institution which is facing litigation.
“All other institutions which are also accounting to this particular committee also do have challenges of their matters being taken on review,” said Mkhwebane.
She said the department of justice spent over R1bn in litigation while the Special Investigative Unit spent R21m.
Mkhwebane said her office defends matters that have an impact on the mandate of the public protector.