Mkhwebane blames police‚ state security ministers for lack of protection of whistleblowers

13 May 2018 - 11:43 By Ernest Mabuza
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.
Image: Esa Alexander

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane on Sunday expressed frustration at the lack of cooperation by the ministers of police and state security in ensuring that protection is offered to whistleblowers in one of the investigations she is conducting in KwaZulu-Natal.

In October last year‚ Mkhwebane launched an investigation into allegations of maladministration‚ corruption and imprudent use of public funds by the Umzimkhulu Local Municipality.

The investigation is in connection with the appointment and payment of service providers for the refurbishment of the dilapidated Umzimkhulu Memorial Hall.

At the beginning of the investigation‚ Mkhwebane condemned the violence and killing of councillors‚ which was alleged to be linked to the project.

Mkhwebane said some whistleblowers with information on the project have expressed fear for their lives and appealed for her office’s intervention.

She said her office had been engaged in talks with the South African Police Service and the State Security Agency in efforts to ensure the security of these whistleblowers.

“I am however frustrated by the lack of cooperation and delays on the part of the Ministers of Police and State Security to finalise threat assessments and the determination of the level of protection to be provided to these whistleblowers‚” Mkhwebane said.

The investigation is ongoing.