His brain may have been born in Welkom, but since Mark Shuttleworth grew up and studied in Cape Town, we’re going to go ahead and claim him as one of our own.
Best known as the first African in space, Mark clearly hasn’t stopped being newsworthy. A recent Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) ruling has seen R250 million returned to the multi-billionaire by the Reserve Bank. The sum had been deducted from the capital he moved out of the country when emigrating to the Isle of Man in 2001, as an ‘exit levy’. Long battles about the constitutionality of this levy were fought between Shuttleworth and the Pretoria High Court in the intervening years, before taking it to the SCA.
What does he plan to do with the funds? Take another trip to space? Buy a private island? Re-invest it in his company, Canonical Ltd?
No. He’s giving it away.
‘I will commit the funds returned to me by the SCA to a trust run by veteran and retired constitutional scholars, judges and lawyers, that will selectively fund cases on behalf of those unable to do so themselves, where the counterparty is the state,’ said Shuttleworth.
Mark, CTE.com, Cape Town and the rest of South Africa applauds you.