Public Protector names and shames organisations, whistle-blowers flee homes
Johannesburg - Two whistle-blowers in Mzimkhulu in KZN have fled their homes and are currently on the run after they lifted the lid on maladministration in the region.
The two men, who have gone into hiding following several threats on their lives, form part of people being assisted by the office of the Public Protector.
It is believed the two men, linked to exposing corruption in the same case as that of murdered ANC KZN leader Sindiso Magaqa, still do not have protection after advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane last year requested President Cyril Ramaphosa to take action against Police Minister Bheki Cele for failing to provide them with protection.
These revelations come as Mkhwebane on Thursday named and shamed several other organisations who she said continue to second-guess her binding recommendations made by her office. Organisations who she rapped over the knuckles include, Eskom, the South African National Defence Force, Treasury and several municipalities.
Mkhwebane said despite repeated efforts to communicate with them in writing and conducting follow-ups, the institutions have failed to meet the time frames or implement remedial actions recommended by her.
“It is worrying that even in the face of such an unequivocal guideline on the standards that have ought to be upheld by the state when dealing with the Public Protector, we still have officials, public bearers, and state institutions who plead ignorance when called upon to right their wrongs,” Mkhwebane said.
Alongside other cases, the Public Protector has investigated and forced remedial action on include the Vhembe Concerned Pensioners Group in Limpopo.
Mkhwebane said two former members of the Venda Pension Fund had approached her asking for assistance. She said they complained that the state through the Government Employees Pension Fund and Treasury, acted improperly during the privatisation of the Fund resulting in the prejudice of members. She added the Finance Ministry had prolonged the process while the pensioners suffered.
Another includes former Lieutenant Colonel in the SANDF Balo Mvithi who lodged a complaint against the Department.
Mkhwebane said Mvithi has highlighted that he and his family have been without a source of income because of maladministration of the Department of Defence and Military Veterans. So dire his situation is, that Mvithi says he can’t even afford sanitary towels for his children.
Mkhwebane said the in a landmark judgment the Constitutional Court had affirmed the office powers by her office saying her investigative powers are not to be inhibited, undermined or sabotaged by anyone.
“I would like to remind organs of state of the reality that cooperation with our investigations and compliance with remedial action is not optional,” she said.