The Right2Know campaign is deeply concerned at the apparent failure by law enforcement agencies to act on a complaint lodged by Parliament on behalf of ANC MP Dr Makhosi Khoza about death threats issued against her by a Mpumalanga hospital executive.
What is highly disturbing and completely unacceptable is that SAPS can afford to abuse police resources by providing VIP protection for Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who is a private citizen while failing to protect state officials. Dr Khoza, who chairs the portfolio committee on public administration, noted glaring deficiencies in a Mpumalanga Hospital during part of an oversight visit by the committee in order to assess levels of service delivery. Dr Khoza reported receiving an angry phone call from the hospital executive in which death threats were made, allegedly after she had pointed out the gross inadequacies of the hospital she had visited. Almost 21 days later, there have been no arrests, no investigation and no charges have been filed against the official for his bully tactics.
This incident highlights the deadly mafia style politics in Mpumalanga, and the impunity which allows it to flourish. Whistleblower Jimmy Mohlala was assassinated after revealing large-scale corruption construction of the 2010 soccer world cup Mbombela stadium. Mohlala was the speaker of the Mbombela council at the time. His case goes unsolved 8 years on. Journalists like Ziwaphi editor, Tom Nkosi, receive ongoing death threats each time a story revealing corruption in the province is published. Speaker of the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature is on record ‘declaring war’ on the publication, and Premier David Mabuza has allegedly relied on State Security to source information about Nkosi and other reporters in the province.
As R2K, we are outraged at this blatant disregard of basic constitutional rights. The ability of public officials, including parliamentarians, whistleblowers and journalists to point out wrongdoing by public servants is a basic job requirement. Ordinary citizens who depend on functioning public services rely on MPs like Khoza to ensure that their rights are not denied.
MPs not only have a right but a duty to honour their oath of office without fear in this and in all such matters. Responsible authorities must deal decisively and forcefully with anyone who seeks to intimidate public representatives from delivering on their mandate.
We call for the Mpumalanga hospital executive to face appropriate criminal charges with immediate effect and for authorities to more fully investigate the state of the hospital whose poor functioning Dr Khoza so diligently exposed. The dangerous intimidation tactics in Mpumalanga must end, and those involved brought to book.