Mr Mbele, who lives in the township of Khayelitsha near Cape Town, dismissed suggestions on social media that he was being taken advantage of and said it had been his idea.
“Imagine what happens when everybody knows I have money – they know me, they know where I stay. So it’s for my safety,” he told the BBC.
He added that he understood why people were concerned but said they should not worry about him.
There are high levels of crime in South Africa, especially in some of the townships around Cape Town.
‘This is too much for my head’
Mr Mbele, who said he was overwhelmed by the response of those who had paid into the fund set by Ms Van Deventer, said he would use the money to pay for the education of his two children and for his accommodation.
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He said that people had also been driving out to the petrol station on a motorway outside Cape Town to personally thank him.
“This is too much for my head. People show me love, they come to see me. Everything is going great.”