Call to beef up legislation to protect whistleblowers

The State Capture Inquiry report has recommended that government introduce or amend existing legislation to strengthen the protection of any person disclosing information to reveal corruption, fraud or undue influence in public procurement activity.

According to the recommendation, this should be in line with article 32(2) of the United Nations Convention against Corruption.

On Tuesday, Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo handed over Part 1 of the three-volume report to President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, almost four years since the establishment of the Commission.

The first part of the State Capture Inquiry report deals with South African Airways, The New Age newspaper’s breakfasts and advertising, and the South African Revenue Service.

The report has implicated several political key players, government departments and organs in wrongdoing and State Capture.

According to the inquiry’s recommendations, government should authorise offering immunity from criminal or civil proceedings if there has been an honest disclosure of the information, which might otherwise render the informant liable to prosecution or litigation.

On Tuesday, the President made special mention of the whistleblowers who come forward to uncover some of these acts of wrongdoing, often risking their lives.

“We need to thank them for their courage and service to the country,” President Ramaphosa said.

The submission of the remaining parts of the report is expected to reach the President's desk by 28 February 2022.

The First Citizen said he believes that the report will enable government to fight State Capture.

“If we work together, we will be able to rid our country of the gross actions of corruption we have seen in the past," he said.

Source: South African Government News Agency