Whistleblower protection:

Improving whistleblower protection through research, comparison of “foreign jurisdictions,” and proposal.

Some whistleblowers have been killed for speaking out against high-level corruption, and the Justice and Corrections Departments are considering these safeguards.

Since Babita Deokaran was killed for speaking out, whistleblower protection has been scrutinised.

Deokaran was a key witness, according to the Special Investigating Unit (SIU). She testified in over a hundred investigations into corruption in the Gauteng health department, according to News24.

In August 2021, she was killed in a hit-and-run outside her home in southern Johannesburg.

Before her death, Deokaran had discovered widespread corruption in the provincial health system, and several recent in-depth News24 investigations have revealed the extent of it. According to News24, the health department allegedly ignored her requests for safety.

According to News24, three weeks before Deokaran’s murder, the provincial health department’s head, Lerato Madyo, ignored Deokaran’s plea. Tembisa Hospital’s R850 million in questionable payments prompted Deokaran to request an investigation.

The Gauteng government has promised to appoint an independent forensic investigator to investigate the allegations surrounding Deokaran’s murder.

In general, how safe is your neighbourhood? Get the latest information from News24’s CrimeCheck.

The government’s Justice, Crime Prevention, and Security (JCPS) cluster reported in February that it was considering all options to strengthen whistleblower protection.

“Anti-corruption efforts will fail unless there is a strong system in place to protect whistleblowers and witnesses. To better protect whistleblowers, the Anti-Corruption Task Team formed a group to investigate the Protected Disclosures Act, 2000 (Act 26 of 2000) and related laws, as well as other countries’ laws.” According to the JSCP group’s official statement.

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