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Sam Mkokeli breaks ranks, condemns Gordhan for investigating whisteblowers

Nthabiseng Borotho was the centre of a post-matric qualifications saga after a report revealed Gordhan appointed her despite not meeting the minimum criteria.

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan at an Eskom press briefing. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan’s spokesperson Sam Mkokeli has criticised his boss for launching an investigation to find whistleblowers who leaked information that his chief of staff does not have the required qualifications.

Nthabiseng Borotho was the centre of a post-matric qualifications saga after the Sunday Independent revealed earlier this year that Gordhan appointed her despite not meeting the minimum criteria.

The allegations once again resurfaced in the same publication which reported a forensic company was appointed to find the officials who blew the whistle on Borotho.

Mkokeli labeled this as an attack on whistleblowers adding that the hunting of informers will create an environment of fear and dictatorship.

According to the newspaper, Borotho was hired under questionable circumstances and further turned the ministry into a family recruitment agency by allegedly employing her half-sister.

The publication claimed that a forensic company, Abacus Financial Crime Advisory was appointed to investigate about 10 staff members suspected of leaking Borotho’s information - much to Mkokeli's dismay.

The spokesperson said genuine whistleblowers should be protected at all costs.

His attorney Clifford Levin said, “We note with extreme concern that Mkokei who should be protected by the Protection Disclosures Act has bee targeted.”

The department maintained that Borotho’s appointment was done with absolute compliance to public service requirements, regulations and the law.

But Mkokeli said this should make the allegations against the chief of staff that much easier to rebut.

The department has since slammed as “misleading” reports that officials implicated in investigations are being targeted.

(Edited by Refilwe Pitjeng)

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