Mr President, Time for Action in Support of Whistle-Blowers!

Mr President, Time for Action in Support of Whistle-Blowers!

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Active Citizens Movement ACM started this petition to President Cyril Ramaphosa

On 29 April 2021, President Cyril Ramaphosa, in his closing remarks on behalf of the African National Congress at the State Capture Commission (SCC), said:

"I wish to conclude by paying tribute to all those South African's who played a role in unearthing corrupt activities that we now know as State Capture. Here I make reference to those who be whistle-blowers, and whistle-blowers have not had a great time in our country. Once they blow the whistle they have been subjected to enormous pressure, pressures that have affected them personally, professionally, career wise and also affected their own household. They have been brave men and women of the country, who because of their abhorrence of corruption, blew the whistle and I regret that in many instances we have not treated them well, and we therefore needs to have some process, legislation for being able to protect whistle-blowers."

The Active Citizens Movement (ACM), established in July 2017 as a citizen activist movement, has strongly supported the cause of whistle-blowers who have spoken out against corruption at tremendous personal cost – affecting their physical and mental health, family life, dismissal from and inability to find work, and crippling legal bills resulting in financial ruin.

The large-scale victimisation of and threats against whistle-blowers revealed at the SCC exposed the failure of the Protected Disclosures Act of 2000 (PDA) to protect whistle-blowers.  We owe them a huge debt, as the guardians of our country’s future.

The ACM, along with many whistle-blowers and other allies, has submitted to the SCC proposals to amend the PDA and other laws.

Our demands are to:

1. Include in the definition of a whistle-blower, all persons who have knowledge of wrong-doing, not only employees;

2. Provide for a specialised Court for whistleblowing cases, preferably within the Equality Court; it should also include investigations into unethical conduct and the abuse of power by lawyers acting in such cases; 

3. Order employers found guilty of harassment and intimidation of whistle-blowers, to pay penalties personally;

4. Remove superiors from positions of authority so that they cannot influence investigations or intimidate witnesses;

5. Provide secure witness protection mechanisms for whistle-blowers;

6. Create a funding mechanism to cover the legal costs of whistle-blowers, and for other material and moral support;

7. Formulate a Code of Conduct for companies and state departments to ensure the fair treatment of whistle-blowers.

  • Mr President, the time for talking is over. Now it is time to act!

1. We demand immediate protection for whistle-blowers in the public and private sectors!

2. We demand urgent changes to the law!

3. We demand that you consult with whistle-blowers and their organisations!

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At 1,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!