OUTA’s Response to comments on Twitter.
The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) is concerned with the misinformation shared on the social media platform Twitter. Over the past few days the organisation has been labelled by its former executive director, Dr Makhosi Khoza in a negative manner. While we valued her input during her tenure at OUTA and know that Dr Khoza is passionate about creating meaningful impact in the fight against corruption in South Africa, we find her comments about the organisation and its people rather disconcerting.
In her comments, Dr Khoza claims that the organisation is being bankrolled by the DA, which is untrue. It is public knowledge and was published in the media six years ago in 2013, that the DA contributed R1 million to OUTA in response to a public call for needed funds that would enable OUTAs e-Toll court challenge to be appealed and heard in the Supreme Court of Appeal. We are a nonpartisan and apolitical civil action organisation and outside of that specific donation six years ago when our focus was purely related to the eToll case, we have not received any funding from any political party.
On the issue of not wanting to accept R20 donations from 5,000 supporters from Sharpeville, we state categorically that we have not shunned support from any community or individuals, regardless of the amount being offered. Our systems are not set up to reject people based on the area they live in or the amounts they want to contribute and we have many supporters who donate far less than the average of R100 a month, with some supporters even donating less than R20 per month.
OUTA’s work in the Emfuleni area is far more widespread than Sharpeville and over the past year we have worked hard in addressing a number of issues related to the problems in that area, from engaging with the Human Rights Commission w.r.t the water and sanitation issues, to engaging with several sectors of the community. With our limited resources, our approach is to hold the municipality to account for the many issues impacting on the residents of the municipality, including sewage leaks. We have also engaged with the offices of the Provincial CoGTA about the dire lack of financial and operational recovery that has plagued this area, more specifically the issue of raw sewage that continues to flow into the streets and surrounding river systems.
The issues being raised by Dr Khoza are largely personal matters that are not associated with the organisation. After Dr Khoza’s own letter of resignation that indicated an amicable and supportive relationship with OUTA, which she shared with the media, we can’t understand the reasons for her recent attack on the organisation or its leadership.
We remain committed to remaining apolitical and relevant to all citizens and the tens of thousands of people who support us, who share in our vision for a country that is free from the abuse of power and corrupt use of our country’s taxes. Our work speaks for itself and can be see on our website.