Lawyers for the whistleblower who accused former Defence Minister and now Speaker of the National Assembly Nosiviwe Mapisa Nqakula of receiving kickbacks relating to a contract with the Department of Defence have accused parliament of breaching the provisions of the Protected Disclosures Act by demanding to unmask the whistleblower.
This, as the Standing Committee resolved last week not to investigate the allegations due to lack of cooperation with the whistleblower.
In a letter to parliament’s Standing Committee on Defence which is in possession of SABC News, lawyers for the whistleblower claim the Committee had made an undertaking that it won’t disclose the identity of the whistleblower.
However, the lawyers accuse the Committee of leaking the 27 questions which the Committee had sent to the whistleblower.
The whistleblower then refused to submit a sworn affidavit after it emerged that the confidentiality agreement in line with the Protected Disclosures Act would be breached.
The letter states that the whistleblower is willing to cooperate with the Committee by giving a statement and not an affidavit.
Committee drops probe into allegations of corruption against Mapisa-Nqakula
The sub-committee that was appointed to investigate the matter has reported that it had not received cooperation from the whistleblower by the end of its mandate on August 31.
Earlier this year, Independent Newspapers reported that Mapisa-Nqakula had allegedly received cash and gifts totalling R5 million from a South African National Defence Force (SANDF) contractor between 2017 and 2019.
The person had reported the matter to Holomisa. After hearing from Holomisa, a subcommittee of the Joint Standing Committee was appointed to probe the allegations, but it has reported how attempts to get evidence from the whistleblower has been thwarted.
The whistleblower was asked to submit an affidavit but had in the end declined to do so.
Their reason was that the committee had breached confidentiality because the media had seen the questions sent to them.
Members were unanimously felt that the matter cannot be taken any further.
Economic Freedom Fighter’s (EFF) Member of Parliament (MP) Kenny Motsamai felt that the committee does not have much to go on and therefore the matter should be closed.
The Africa National Congress’ MP Thabo Mmutle warned the committee to be more careful next time when dealing with matters of this nature. He says they have the potential to tarnish people’s names.
‘It might be that the Minister was reshuffled because there were these kinds of allegations or this kind of dark cloud hanging over her, and it’s very much unfair. I’m not saying that is the case, but I’m saying these kinds of allegations as serious. As we treat them, we need to be very careful as a committee in terms of accepting these kinds of allegations. Particularly from people who are not willing to stand their ground in terms of coming forward and bringing the information,” says Mmutle.