Mkhwebane calls on Saps to reinforce control around whistle blowers

Busisiwe Mkhwebane has accused the Police Minister of gross negligence and exposing whistle blowers to possible assassinations.

Police Minister Bheki Cele. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG – Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has called on the South African Police Service (Saps) to strengthen its operating procedure when dealing with whistle blowers in order to ensure their safety and protection.

Mkhwebane has accused the Police Minister of gross negligence and exposing whistle blowers to possible assassinations.

Thabiso Zulu and Les Stuta, blew the lid on the alleged reasons behind Sindiso Magaqa’s assassination.

They claim he was killed because he wanted to expose corruption in the multimillion rand renovation of the uMzimkhulu memorial hall on kzn’s south coast.

Mkhwebane says Minister Bheki Cele failed to implement a security assessment report which required urgent protection for the pair who have been receiving death threats.

The Public Protector says the Saps needs to take the protection of whistle blowers seriously.

“If we still have people who are prepared to risk their lives to be whistle blowers so that we can deal with crime and the issue of corruption in this country, therefore, we needed to act speedily.”

Mkhwebane has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to reprimand the Police Minister for compromising the security of whistle blowers in the Magaqa murder case.

She’s recommended that the police establish a standard operating procedure to deal with whistle blowers and their safety.

Mkhwebane says Ramaphosa needs to act against Cele.

“My recommendation is that the president should reprimand the Minister of Police. The president should also ensure that this incident does not reoccur and that the minister takes heed of the warning because people will be murdered.”

She’s recommended that the South African Police Service establish a standard operating procedure to deal with whistle blowers and their safety.

“This will help them as well in their planning if they would want to deal and prevent and deal decisively with crime. That’s where you encourage members of the public to come forward [with information].”

When asked what reasons the minister gave for not implementing the assessment report, she says he simply never responded to her requests.

The Police Minister has since indicated he will take the report on judicial review.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)