Civil organisation calls on Ramaphosa to commit to action to protect whistle-blowers

Babita Deokaran. Picture: Supplied

Babita Deokaran. Picture: Supplied

Published Nov 21, 2023


The Activists and Citizens Forum says if President Cyril Ramaphosa is serious about stopping corruption he must show it through practical actions to protect whistle-blowers.

The latest allegations from a whistle-blower at the Employment and Labour Department alleging that Minister Thulas Nxesi is involved in theft, fraud and racketeering of billions of rand, are extremely serious allegations.

Spokesperson for Activist and Citizens Forum, Dennis Bloem, said the senior official who is the whistle-blower is now living in fear for his life.

Bloem said the whistle-blower is threatened by unknown “hooligans” to stop what he is busy with.

He said that something was very disturbing as these allegations, including submitting an affidavit, were already made in June. Five months later, the law enforcement agencies have not acted against Nxesi and all those mentioned in the affidavit.

“We are calling on President Ramaphosa and his police minister to place this whistle-blower under security protection because his life is in danger for reporting corruption. We cannot have another whistle-blower killed like Babita Deokaran,” Bloem said.

He added that the Activists and Citizens Forum would soon approach the police to lay charges against those threatening the life of the whistle-blower. “We will also demand security protection for the whistle-blower,” Bloem said.

A number of whistle-blowers had been killed or live in fear across South Africa.

One of them was public servant Babita Deokaran who was murdered for reporting corruption at the Gauteng Department of Health where she was working as the acting chief director financial accounting officer in 2021.

Former Rustenburg councilor Moss Phakoe. Picture: Itumeleng English

In 2009, Moss Phakoe, an ANC councillor, was assassinated for attempting to expose corruption in the Rustenburg Municipality.

Earlier this month, Ramaphosa at the National Dialogue on Anti-Corruption at Birchwood Hotel, Ekurhuleni, said corruption carries a huge opportunity cost. Economic growth is stifled and businesses suffer.

“Corruption has wounded our democracy and shaken people’s faith in our institutions. If corruption is not arrested, the greatest damage will not be in the funds stolen, the jobs lost or the services not delivered. The greatest damage will be to the belief in democracy itself,” Ramaphosa said.

The Star

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