Whistleblowers back recommendations made by Zondo Commission around their protection | News24

Justice Raymond Zondo. (File photograph by Veli Nhlapo/Sowetan/Gallo Images by way of Getty Images)

  • Whistleblowers have endorsed suggestions made by the State Capture Inquiry geared toward strengthening the safety of those that raise the lid on corruption and wrongdoing.
  • They have additionally referred to as for the institution of an anti-corruption company. 
  • They mentioned the company also needs to have a division for whistleblowers which supplies authorized safety and social-psychological assets. 

Whistleblowers have backed the State Capture Inquiry advice for establishing an anti-corruption company, including that it ought to home a division for whistleblowers to supply authorized safety, social-psychological and well being assets.

During a media briefing on Friday, Whistleblowers for Change – which included a number of individuals who testified earlier than the State Capture Inquiry – defined that the retaliatory motion taken towards those that blew the whistle on corruption took many varieties, together with:

  • The weaponisation of disciplinary procedures;
  • Legal fits geared toward harassing, impoverishing and damaging the reputations of sincere staff who blow the whistle on malfeasance; and
  • Murder.

“In the wake of our disclosures of wrongdoing on the part of public officials, corrupted police officers and/or private sector role-players retaliatory actions have wrecked the lives of whistleblowers,” Whistleblowers for Change mentioned.

“Most alarming has been the violations of constitutional rights of citizens by law enforcement officers.”

“In ways reminiscent of the dark days of apartheid, they have violated the constitutional rights of citizens that they should be protecting.”

“At local government level, whistleblowers have faced arrest on trumped-up charges and attempted assassinations.”

“Others have had to flee the country or move around in secret to safe houses in fear of their lives. In other cases, they have resulted in financial loss to private sector entities (such as retirement funds) and/or to individuals including employees of public and/or private sector bodies, members and beneficiaries of retirement funds and others.”

READ | State capture report recommends rewarding whistleblowers – but will this work? Activists have their say

Because of the persecution, Whistleblowers for Change backed suggestions to strengthen the authorized safety and institutional framework for whistleblowers and the combat towards corruption in our nation.

They endorsed the advice for the institution of an anti-corruption company and referred to as for the company to be impartial and partial solely to its mandate and subjected solely to the legislation and the Constitution.

Whistleblowers for Change added that the company needs to be named the Office of the Whistleblower, which needs to be adequately resourced with the required talent to make sure authorized safety and social-psychological and well being assets for whistleblowers.

Furthermore, the whistleblowers mentioned legal guidelines ought to criminalise the retaliatory actions described within the Protected Disclosures Act.

“We deplore the fact that the present system offers no inducement to the whistleblower to break cover.”

The group additionally referred to as for reforms to the Protected Disclosures Act, together with:

  • To introduce the necessity to compensate whistleblowers for the hurt performed to them, resembling lack of livelihoods, earnings, life financial savings and pensions, reputations and so forth.;
  • To introduce an expanded listing of individuals to whom a whistleblower considering making protected disclosures might go;
  • Persons to whom such disclosures are made should be given the authorized obligation to make sure confidentiality and enough safety towards hurt for the whistleblower; and
  • To convey South African laws according to article 32 (2) of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption which suggests that every one signatory states, resembling South Africa, present for establishing procedures for the bodily safety of such individuals, resembling to the extent obligatory and possible, relocating them and allowing them, the place applicable, non-disclosure or limitations on the disclosure of data in regards to the identification or whereabouts of such individuals.

Whistleblowers for Change additionally endorsed a system of financial awards to successfully help those that made protected disclosures to recoup monetary losses suffered because of their principled stand.

However, Whistle Blowers for Change additionally mentioned: “We are loathed to support a system that encourages bounty hunting such as the American system of incentivised disclosures based on a percentage of recouped funds after successful prosecutions.

“We help a system of an award primarily based on the quantification of damages and losses suffered and or incurred, and as such, we’re extra inclined in the direction of the European whistleblower provisions that lean on this route.”

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