Whistle blowers a key cog in fighting corruption

Johannesburg – Minister in the Presidency, Mondli Gungubele, says the importance of whistle blowers in the fight against corruption cannot be underestimated.

The Minister was speaking during a picket commemorating International Anti-Corruption Day held at the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) head office on Thursday.

“I want to express our unwavering commitment to the protection of whistle blowers and also our preparedness to deal with our weaknesses where they exist because without [whistle blowers] the struggle against corruption is going to be a very long journey.

“I call upon [whistle blowers] to not stop their bravery and to continue to advise on what are the weaknesses in the machinery to protect whistle blowers,” Gungubele said.

Minister Gungubele said corruption undermines the state’s delivery of services to the people.

“It undermines the ability of investors to actually invest in this country, make a profit, create opportunities, absorb employment and also create opportunities to ensure that there is revenue that comes to the state so that the state can use that money to take care of the vulnerable. It is the worst crime against humanity,” he said.

GCIS Director General Phumla Williams called on civil servants to act against those who perpetrate corrupt acts and to guard themselves in participating in it.

“We tend to talk about corruption in big projects, in big tenders but corruption starts with small acts…not opening an office when you are supposed to open it to serve the people, wanting to be paid a bribe to do what you are supposed to do,” she said.

Williams added that although there remains some in the public service who do wrong, most civil servants do their duties with integrity.

“I am proud to come out with the whole team of GCIS to say: Not in our name. We will do what we can to stop corruption. A lot of public servants are honest and a lot of public servants know what is expected of them. That’s what we are raising … all is not lost,” she said.

At the Anti-Corruption day picket, Special Investigating Unit Head, Advocate Andy Mothibi, reiterated the unit’s stance on taking on corruption investigations in the public service.

“Today we are raising up the heat as we continue to investigate [corruption]. This day is marked with enthusiasm because we have committed to give [President Cyril Ramaphosa] the report on the PPE investigations tomorrow and [the report] will make sure that we hold all of those to account.

“We must all gear up to fight the scourge of corruption and root it out wherever it rears its head. When we find evidence, it doesn’t matter who you are … we investigate the allegations without fear, favour or prejudice,” Mothibi said.

– SAnews.gov.za

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