South Africa: Report Takes Aim At Loopholes in ‘Useless’ Protected Disclosures Act

‘The Protected Disclosures Act is not worth the paper it’s written on,’ says Just Share director Tracey Davies. ‘It is due to the bravery of whistle-blowers that the Zuma regime came to an end, yet they are not highly regarded and continue to suffer terribly — their jobs go first, then their pensions, their houses, their mental health. In addition they are subjected to harassment, bullying, intimidation. And now murder.’

Last year’s murder of Babita Deokaran, a witness in a R300-million PPE fraud investigation, shocked a country already accustomed to the callous disregard with which whistle-blowers are treated.

Just a year earlier, delinquent director Dudu Myeni spitefully revealed the identity of a whistle-blower, known as “Mr X”, during her testimony at the State Capture inquiry in November 2020, despite being warned by commission chairperson Raymond Zondo against doing so. She is yet to face any consequences and failed to arrive for a scheduled court hearing last week. The case was postponed.

Media groups and civil society have lobbied for an overhaul of whistle-blower regulations, and President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for the state to tighten up whistle-blower protection. Yet change is slow.

Meanwhile, whistle-blowers such as former SAA treasurer Cynthia…