With the City Harvest Church trial over, culminating with the conviction and sentencing of the six church leaders, it seems pertinent to ask if former church members and organisations that have donated substantially to the church have any legal recourse for recovering their donations. After all, it is now clear that donations have been misused for purposes different from the donors’ intentions.
Furthermore, the amount of money involved is large, and if the reported 25 per cent drop in the attendance at its services since 2009 is any indication, there has been a decline in the level of support for the church.
This need for recourse would naturally also apply to donors of other charities or Institutions of a Public Character (IPC) in the event their donations are not used for the stated purpose.
In the spirit of maintaining public trust and confidence in charities, I hope the Commissioner of Charities can look into this issue and provide an avenue for the former church members and donors to claim back their monies.