Whistleblowers need protection

Police recovered thousands of rands worth of looted goods, including beds, electronic appliances and mag wheels, in and around Durban. The writer says many whistleblowers have lost their lives and it causes panics and, as a result, most of them choose to be quiet.
Police recovered thousands of rands worth of looted goods, including beds, electronic appliances and mag wheels, in and around Durban. The writer says many whistleblowers have lost their lives and it causes panics and, as a result, most of them choose to be quiet.
Image: Lirandzu Themba

Whistleblowers come in handy now more than ever in our country as law enforcement agencies try to recover looted goods. One has to admit that going house to house, taking what is suspected to be "stolen" goods cannot be easy at all.

Soldiers, together with the police, have asked community members to help them identify instigators of the lootings and find the goods stolen. Well, helping in this case means whistleblowing. However, we all have to admit that it is not safe at all to blow the whistle.

Once you help identify wrongdoers, you will be targeted and labelled a snitch and some even go to the extent of calling you a spy. All this means your life as a whistleblower is in danger. Many whistleblowers have lost their lives and it causes panics and, as a result, most of them choose to be quiet.

In this instance, choosing to be quiet is the same as choosing to be alive. Speaking out sometimes is the same as signing a death warrant. Law enforcement agencies need to come up with ways of protecting whistleblowers, otherwise there will not be community members to work with.

People would like to participate in jailing wrongdoers, but there is a concern about their safety. They play a vital role in helping curb criminal activities, but they also need protection. Whistleblowers' lives matter.

Melato Mphahlele, Zebediela

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.