The need to protect whistleblowers has been a driving principle in protesting the Secrecy Bill, which could have far-reaching consequences for those who need to speak out against secrecy. However, the truth is that even today most people who blow the whistle will face terrible consequences — they are likely to lose their job, face harassment, intimidation and legal threats, and potentially even face threats on their life. Yet by putting themselves at risk, they are strengthening our democracy and highlighting abuses of power.
The Right2Know campaign has put together a 2013 Calendar that celebrates just a few of these individuals, and honours the sacrifices they have made to speak out against injustice.
Across South Africa, we see outrageous attacks on whistleblowers of all kinds — from corruption-busting municipal officials to crusaders against corporate crime. These courageous individuals are made out to be stooges and sell-outs, when in fact they are heroes in the fight against secrecy.
Bring an end to the persecution of whistleblowers! We call on all South Africans to defend their right to speak out!
Whistleblowers honoured and remembered in 2013:
- Samuel Mpatlanyane, an Mpumalanga government official, was gunned down outside his house before he could blow the whistle on corruption around the mismanagement of Mbombela stadium project in 2010.
- Fred Daniel, an eco-tourist businessman, blew the whistle on the sale of land at inflated prices in Badplaas, Mpumalanga in 2005. This became the biggest land restitution scam in South Africa’s history.
- Dumisani “Bomber” Ntshangase, a former member of the South African Communist Party, was shot in 2010 for blowing the whistle on corruption in Mpumalanga.
- Bhele Tholakele Dlunga, a rock drill operator at Karee 4 Belt, blew the whistle on police torture of strikers at Marikana after he was beaten and suffocated by policemen.
- Dr Basil Brown, Dr Lungile Pepeta and Dr Sats Pillay, senior staff at the Port Elizabeth Hospital Complex, blew the whistle in 2012 around the Eastern Cape Department of Health’s mismanagement of the complex.
- Imraahn Mukaddam blew the whistle in 2007 on the fixing of the price of bread by South Africa’s major food producers.
- Solly Tshitangano, a former Limpopo Province government official, blew the whistle in 2010 on irregularities in the process of awarding the tender for textbooks.
- Roberta Nation blew the whistle on an alleged cover-up of fraud at the State Security Agency’s medical scheme.
- Alfred Motsi campaigned against corruption in Rustenburg with fellow ANC councillor Moss Phakoe. After Moss was assassinated, Motsi went into hiding and testified against his killers in court. The former mayor of Rustenburg was one of those convicted. [Update: in 2014 this conviction was overturned.]
HOW TO ORDER YOUR 2013 WHISTLEBLOWER CALENDAR:
Order your calendar today – just make any donation, big or small, to cover postage costs. Make the donation via GivenGain and please be sure include your postal address in the “Message” box. Click here!
(The 2013 R2K Calendar, designed by Meghan Judge, features Samuel Mpatlanyane, Fred Daniel, Alfred Motsi, Bhele Tholakele Dlunga, Basil Brown, Imraahn Mukaddam, Lungile Pepeta, Dumisani ‘Bomber’ Ntshangase, Solly Tshitangano, Roberta Nation, and Sats Pillay.)