'Her death represents the justice system’s failure to protect': Mashaba calls for justice for Babita Deokaran
ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba says whistle-blowers on corruption must be protected, encouraged and rewarded for the risk they take.
Mashaba made the remark on Monday outside the Johannesburg magistrate’s court where he called for justice for slain Gauteng health manager Babita Deokaran.
Deokaran was a key witness and whistle-blower in various investigations into fraud and corruption, most notably tenders linked to Covid-19 and PPE.
She was killed outside her Johannesburg home last month.
The six men accused of her murder - Phakamani Hadebe, Zita Hadebe, Nhlangano Ndlovu, Sanele Mbele, Siphiwe Mazibuko and Phakanyiswa Dladla - appeared at the magistrate’s court, where their bail application was postponed until October 1 and October 5.
Speaking outside the court, Mashaba said Deokaran's death represents the justice system’s failure to protect brave South Africans who are fed up with corruption.
“They have taken it upon themselves to play their part in fighting the scourge of this co-ordinated criminality, even to the extent of risking their own lives,” said Mashaba.
In honour of Deokaran, Mashaba launched ActionSA’s Anti-Corruption Blueprint.
He said the blueprint will address rampant crime, corruption, and general lawlessness.
“Fixing SA means that we need to put an end to the era of political patronage, cadre-deployment and the rampant looting of public funds. Instead, we need an ethical, competent and caring government that is committed to public service with pride,” said Mashaba.
“We believe that corruption is public enemy number one. So long as it is allowed to fester in every crevice of governance, it will continue to undermine all the gains we hope to make as a country.
“Corruption will continue to direct much-needed funds from service delivery and enrich only the politically-connected elite. A drastic and innovative change is needed in order to fight, and end, corruption.”
ActionSA's blueprint, among other measures, plans to incentivise whistle-blowing, provide close protection when the identity of a whistle-blower is known, protect the anonymity of whistle-blowers and dedicate capacity in municipalities for dealing with whistle-blowers.
“Our collective governance experience means that we will be able to present compelling blueprints for these municipalities, and voters will be able to believe in their credibility based on what has been observed in the past. This cannot be overstated in an era where South Africans have grown wary of the promises of political parties,” said Mashaba.