Justice for Babita and whistle-blowers: ActionSA launches corruption-busting
13 September 2021
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Today, ActionSA attended the court appearance of the alleged murderers of Gauteng Health official and corruption whistle-blower, Babita Deokaran.
Deokaran was murdered outside her Winchester Hills home and was a key whistle-blower in an investigation into dodgy Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) contracts in Gauteng. Her death represents the justice system’s failure to protect brave South Africans who are gatvol with corruption and have taken it upon themselves to play their part in fighting the scourge of this coordinated criminality, even to the extent of risking their own lives.
In honour of Babita Deokaran, today, ActionSA President, Herman Mashaba launched ActionSA’s Anti-Corruption Blueprint, our roadmap for Fixing South Africa, one municipality at a time, by ending corruption. Mashaba was joined at the launch and court attendance by Dr Makhosi Khoza, our eThekwini Mayoral Candidate, Mayoral Candidates for Tshwane and Ekurhuleni, Abel Tau and Tlhogi Moseki, respectively.
We unwaveringly believe in respect for the Rule of Law and ethical leadership at all levels of government – no country can prosper in a state of anarchy and lawlessness. For South Africa to make progress, we must address the rampant crime, corruption, and general lawlessness.
Fixing South Africa 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 price. That part is not the ANC.
Accordingly, ActionSA unapologetically believes that corruption is Public Enemy Number 1. So long as it is allowed to fester into 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 political connected elite.
A drastic and innovative change is needed in order to fight, and end, corruption. We must create the right systems, ethical norms and incentives to not only ensure those who are involved in corruption are caught and prosecuted, but more so, corruption becomes a thing of the past within government.
Our plan creates protection and incentives for whistle-blowers who provide credible information leading to prosecution and also establishes early detection systems for suspected corrupt activities.
To protect and incentivise whistle-blowers, ActionSA would:
Incentivise whistleblowing: we will provide financial incentives to all whistle-blowers that provide information that directly contributes to the successful prosecution of corrupt activities.
Providing close protection when the identity of a whistle-blower is known: we will adopt municipal policies to ensure that whistle-blowers automatically get access to close protection services from Metro Police, pending the necessary security risk assessments which are conducted by SAPS and other relevant bodies.
Protecting the anonymity of whistle-blowers: we will provide opportunities for whistle-blowers to provide information entirely anonymously. This will include using resources that do not track any user data while providing guidance to whistle-blowers on how to further make sure their personal data is protected.
Dedicated capacity in municipalities for dealing with whistle-blowers: we will ensure that the anti-corruption units have dedicated, specially trained staff to deal with whistle-blowers to ensure their protection and anonymity.
To stop corruption dead in its tracks, amongst other measures, we would also:
Forensic and investigative services: we will establish an independent anti-corruption unit within each of the municipalities we govern, in order to fight corruption proactively and to investigate any suspected corrupt activities that took place under previous administrations. The units will be capacitated by the best and most experienced investigators, forensic accountants and prosecutors. We will ensure the independence of these units and guarantee that they have the ability to identify corruption in the executive, the legislature and the administration. No one should be above the law.
Partner with NGOs to ensure full transparency: we will enter into service-level agreements with anti-corruption organisations to increase transparency and allow for objective, external monitoring of potentially corrupt activities.
Reform supply chain management processes and practices: all SCM policies will be reviewed upon taking office, and reforms that focus on transparency, accurate pricing and reliable service provision will be implemented without delay.
Modernising monitoring processes: we will investigate the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve the early identification of corrupt activities.
Transparent processes: we will open council meetings to the public and ensure that tender processes at the adjudication stage are open. Municipal Public Accounts Committees (MPAC) will also be open to public scrutiny.
Promoting a professional civil service: ensuring every civil servant is committed to serving residents with pride.
The simple truth is that South Africans are gatvol of the ANC’s corruption, looting and cadre deployment; tired of their load-shedding and service delivery failures across the country; gatvol of rising unemployment and poverty whilst ANC cadres enrich themselves and their friends and family; tired of crime and lawlessness; and gatvol of the gross incompetence of a government that is not committed to public service.
ActionSA wields a serious track record in government that most established political parties cannot compete with. 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.
In this campaign ActionSA stands above other parties because we have a track record of success in local government. In a party that is just a year old, we have former Mayors, MMCs, Chiefs of Staff, a Chief of Metro Police, a CEO of SALGA, Chairpersons of Portfolio Committees, and the list goes on and on.
In the coming elections, we will demonstrate the change we can bring to South African communities. However, for this change to happen, every single South African must vote in the coming local government elections. Every South African must vote to expel the ANC from office.
We are ready to contest the coming elections and serve the people of South Africa.
Issued by Herman Mashaba, ActionSA President, 13 September 2021