Whistleblowing. Our moral compass is a bit squiff.
Corruptionwatch was founded to expose corruption in South Africa and too encourage whistleblowers to be aware of their rights. Their rights are actually entrenched in South African law with the Protected Disclosures Act; hard to believe isn’t it ? Whistleblowers the world over are held in very high esteem by citizens and in not such high esteem by business and politicians. I wonder why ?
I have reproduced, below, an extract from the weekly report for 10-14 December 2012 with the express permission of Corruptionwatch. Big thank you to them. I have included their logo on all RASKI web pages with a link to their website. Pop onto their website; it contains a wealth of material.
My Hero of 2012 ? It’s a shoo-in. Thuli Madonsela. What a fearless powerhouse. I am damned glad she is on our side.
Association of 2012 ? Corruptionwatch. Great concept, great execution and, most important, they follow through.
Extract of article below reproduced by kind permission of Corruptionwatch.
Weekly reporting trends: 10 – 14 December 2012
Thursday, 13/12/2012 – 17:17
Ghost employees at a Pretoria school and Benoni Magistrate Court, RDP housing and the National Youth Development Agency feature prominently in the reports Corruption Watch has received recently. Corruption Watch receives, on average, 100 reports of corruption a month and more than three reports per day. These are logged through our incident reporter form on our website, or by SMS, email, post, fax, social media or landline calls.
From now on we’ll be bringing you a snapshot of some of the corruption reports we receive each week, so you can get a better idea of the trends we’re picking up.
Here are some recent cases*:
The Sol Plaatje municipality in the Northern Cape is involved in corruption at many levels. These include the appointment of a senior construction official who is unqualified for the job as outlined by South African National Standards report, and office clerks bribing rate payers to get their building plans approved. The municipality is also using taxpayers’ money to supposedly aid the water crises and improve infrastructure, but nothing is being done!
There have been illegal sales of government stands in Ivory Park, Midrand. Officials from the local municipalities have failed to stop the selling of RDP homes and prevent the new buyers from renovating and occupying these homes. The selling of stands and RDP houses are linked to the mysterious disappearances of documentation that include lease agreements and applications for title deeds within the Department of Housing.
“When I applied for a job at my local municipality, one of the officials – Xhobani Qhinga – advised me to pay him an amount of R3 000 in order to secure a position. I then proceeded to pay Qhinga and completed the application forms he had handed over to me. However, I am still without a job and the official who took my money does not respond to any of my calls.”
“A drum majorette coach in Pretoria has been on paid sick leave for a long time. As the coach, she has been involved in missing travel allowances promotional materials since she took over. The Department of Basic Education does not want to investigate and has put her on paid leave. She is earning a salary while staying at home and running her business.”
“An employee at the Benoni Magistrates Court has been on sick leave for the past five years due to depression and mental instability; however she appears to be in perfectly good health. This employee operates profitable and successful businesses whilst still receiving a full salary from the justice department. I believe that this official is mentally fit and sane and is defrauding the government.”
Experienced something similar? Report it to Corruption Watch.
So what do we do with the reports?
Every week a multi-disciplinary team at Corruption Watch decides what action needs to be taken for each report. The possibilities include:
- Adding the report to a number of similar reports which we are campaigning on. For example, we group all reports of traffic cop bribery for actions under our No More TjoTjo campaign.
- Publishing the report on our website so that other people who have knowledge of similar incidents can read it and report further.
- Using the incident as the basis for a news story or research report, which is published on our website.
- Referring the incident to a journalist to expose the incident on our website or in the media.
Asking for more information from the person who reported the incident to us.
Starting an investigation.
- Referring the incident to a government authority for investigation (such as the Independent Police Investigative Directorate or Public Protector).
- Taking some kind of legal or political action in respect of the incident reported – for example, writing letters to the relevant authority, making a Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) application.
* Extra details that could identify the reporter have been taken out.
Big thank you to Corruptionwatch for allowing us to reproduce this article from their website. We will be following up.
Here are a couple of well-known whistle-blowers who made a difference –
- W. Mark Felt – Deep Throat of the Watergate scandal.
- Bradley Manning – Army intelligence analyst, Wikileaks
- Julian Assange – Founder and editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks
- Karen Silkwood – employed at the Kerr-McGee nuclear power plant in Oklahoma, tested positive for massive plutonium exposure and decided to show her evidence to The New York Times. She left a union meeting with binders and documents to meet the reporters. She never arrived. Police found her car run off the road and Silkwood dead inside. The documents were missing.
- Frank Serpico – police corruption