Concerns raised over safety of whistleblowers

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Since the release of the State Capture Inquiry report, concerns have once again emerged about the safety of whistleblowers, who provided key testimony at the Commission.

This after the homes of two prominent whistleblowers – Johann van Loggerenberg who is a former South African Revenue Service (SARS) executive, and former GCIS boss Themba Maseko, were burgled following the report release.

The incidents have triggered alarm among other whistleblowers who have questioned the timing of these incidents.

Former head of legal services at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa), Martha Ngoye who also testified before the commission says she feels unprotected.

“We are very close to all the other whistleblowers. So anything that happens to any one of us, affects the entire team. I think what is concerning is that these are actually coming out more now after the evidence has been given.”

“The fact that these witnesses were not attacked at the time of giving evidence, so one does not understand what the modus operandi is of these people. It is concerning that we are faced with these attacks that are happening,” adds Ngoye.

State Capture Commission Report Handover:

Earlier, whistleblowers called for fundamental reforms to the Protected Disclosures Act.

This included adequate protection and a whistleblowing body to be formed.

Whistleblowers also want South African legislation to be in line with that of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption.

The UN’s policy provides for the physical protection of such persons.

Thandeka Gqubule-Mbeki testified on the Stratcom allegations at the Zondo Commission.

“The present system offers no inducement to the whistleblower to break cover. We agree that the bonafide whistleblower is activated by duty. We agree with the recommendations of the establishment of the anti-corruption agency. We further believe that such an agency should be independent and impartial.”

In the video below, whistleblowers for Change respond to the Commission’s report: