The way forward for whistle-blowing in South Africa.

Corruption and the interference of crime fighting bodies are among the many serious challenges that South Africa faces. John Robbie spoke to the Deputy Public Protector, Advocate Kevin Malunga, about the launch of the Anti-Intimidation and Ethical Practices Forum (AEPF).

The AEPF has connected several anti-corruption agencies with the aim of advancing whistle-blowing in the country. The forum consists of professional bodies such as the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFESA), the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), the Institute of Internal Auditors South Africa (IIA SA) and the Ethics Institute of South Africa. It is these entities that report to the office of the Public Protector.

The idea is to have the forum to educate members about corruption, advise them on how to reveal corruption and what to do when whistle-blowers are being intimidated.

Dr. Claudel Von Eck, Chair of the AEPF, who spoke to Stephen Grootes on the Midday Report

As a keynote speaker, The Deputy Public Protector called for the consideration of incentives or bounties to encourage whistle-blowing by the public and professional community. Malunga advised that this kind of practice was “not new to the law”, citing examples from U.S legislation.

In terms of the current framework, there is not much to encourage people to blow the whistle. In fact, there are so many disincentives. Whistle-blowers don’t feel safe, they face harassment, discrimination, dismissal - risks to their lives, some of them have even been killed in South Africa.

Deputy Public Protector, Adv. Malunga

Malunga referred to previous cases of whistle blowing, well known to the public, which had endangered people’s lives. Predominant cases in South Africa have included:

  • Jimmy Mohlala, speaker of the Mbombela Municipality in Nelspruit, who was allegedly assassinated for blowing the whistle on a colleague who was accused of involvement in corrupt 2010 World Cup construction tenders.
  • Moss Phakoe, a councillor in the Rustenburg local municipality, who paid with his life for allegedly exposing fraud in North West’s drought-relief projects.
  • Lawrence Moepi, a forensic director for an auditing firm, who was reportedly shot dead in a suspected hit after investigating major cases involving suspected corruption.

In the course of doing your job, you may find some very uncomfortable truths that make you quite vulnerable.

Deputy Public Protector, Adv. Malunga

Some that have attempted to blow the whistle against corruption, find that the one’s in charge of dealing with the offences and procedures are often the perpetrators of the crimes.

That’s the reason why part of Public Protector and other integrity bodies exist; to actually ensure that we fight this. It’s a Constitutional value in South Africa to have proper and fair procurement. So when people identify things that are irregular, they have to be protected. Hence the need for a forum like this.

Deputy Public Protector, Adv. Malunga

Dr. Von Eck offered a guide on the stages of whistle-blowing procedures for professional bodies:

  • Ensure that all the internal channels have been exhausted.
  • Make contact with the Institute of one's professional body, known as the 1st Tier.
  • Consult with the umbrella body (AEPF), which would evaluate the given case.
  • Referral to 2cnd Tier regulators, such as the Puplic Protector and the Auditor General.

Dr. Von Eck told Stephen Grootes that there are two main reasons why potential whistle-blowers do not come forward: fear and the feeling that there will be no consequences for the crimes committed.

We do need to see a strengthening at the second tier - that action is actually taken and that there are visible consequences.

Dr. Claudel Von Eck, Chair of the AEPF

Listen to Adv. Malunga’s interview with John Robbie:

Listen to Dr. Von Eck's interview with Stephen Grootes:

Find more on the Adv. Malunga’s address here.

John Robbie hosts the breakfast show on 702, every weekday from 06:00 to 09:00.

Read More
Major medical breakthrough: New gene pegged as cause of heart attacks in youth

Major medical breakthrough: New gene pegged as cause of heart attacks in youth

This is being called the biggest medical advancement in South African cardiology since Dr Chris Barnard's first heart transplant.

Parents urged to check tertiary institutions are legit before registering kids

Parents urged to check tertiary institutions are legit before registering kids

The Council on Higher Education says parents need to be wary of the increasing number of fly-by-night tertiary institutions.

New app to detect hearing loss

New app to detect hearing loss

University of Pretoria has developed a new app which uses a smartphone to detect hearing loss.

UK prison officers manage to quell mass inmate riots

UK prison officers manage to quell mass inmate riots

Britain recorded the worst prison riots in 26 years after 600 inmates at a prison in Birmingham embarked on a 12-hour riot.

2016 news wrap: A look back at the stories that grabbed SA's attention

2016 news wrap: A look back at the stories that grabbed SA's attention

Barry Bateman spoke to Stephen Grootes to unpack the meaning behind the stories that dominated the headlines in 2016.

Taking decisive action against attacks on state institutions

Corruption Watch has called for President Jacob Zuma to fire Kebby Maphatsoe from his post as Deputy Minister of Defence and Military Veterans.

Popular articles
Sassa cards will be functional beyond expiry date

Sassa cards will be functional beyond expiry date

Sassa says text messages making the rounds asking beneficiaries to come and renew their Sassa cards is a hoax.

Soulful Sundays Playlist: Sunday 11 June 2017

Soulful Sundays Playlist: Sunday 11 June 2017

Favourites to feed your soul on Sunday.

Mashaba moves to insource security guards come Jan 2018

Mashaba moves to insource security guards come Jan 2018

Mashaba is also on a mission to identify owners of buildings in the city centre that he says are harbouring criminals.

Why Sisulu and Dlamini-Zuma aren't suitable Presidential candidates: analyst

Why Sisulu and Dlamini-Zuma aren't suitable Presidential candidates: analyst

ANC branch in the Eastern Cape, Z.R Mahabana, has launched a campaign backing Lindiwe Sisuslu as an ANC presidential candidate.

It's not the end of the road... Top tips to improve your matric

It's not the end of the road... Top tips to improve your matric

"Recognise that it’s not the end, it’s the beginning." Expert advise for school-leavers who want to improve their results.

‘I started my thriving business with R5000 (and made a profit in the 1st month)’

‘I started my thriving business with R5000 (and made a profit in the 1st month)’

After 3 years there are 3 Nic Harry stores (incl online) that sell 100 000 pairs of socks in over 20 countries around the world.

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

WIN R2000! But only if you can prove you're a whiz of the MTN Biz Quiz by answering the following three questions...

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Is social trend Blesserfinder, where girls are allegedly matching up with rich 'benefactors' in exchange for sex, a real thing?