Whistle-blowing is one way of addressing corruption, but with its associated consequences many fight shy to expose those caught in the wrong side of the law.
An investigation conducted by Forbes Africa magazine reveals that people in power are in most cases beneficiaries of corruption in Africa. The investigation also revealed that, these politicians use their power to silent whistle-blowers.
“What we found out when we were looking into corruption and whistleblowing in Africa is that a lot of heroes go unsung, it’s either they lose their jobs or they die trying to do what is right,” Ancillar Mangena, a Forbes Africa journalist told CNBC Africa.
Mangena who has been investigating the issue of whistle-blowing in South Africa warned that most people who exposed corruption fall victim to isolation in the job market with some being killed.
“Grishen Bujram, a man in KwaZulu-Natal was killed fighting corruption in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal area called Dundee for exposing a mayor who was defrauding the country through self-allocation of RDP houses,” said Mangena.
(WATCH VIDEO: If you speak up you die: whistle blowing in South Africa)
Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) houses are government built houses that target the poorest of the poor. In the case of Bujram, the mayor of Dundee was believed to be allocating houses meant for the poor to herself.
Whistleblowing is a big issue in South Africa at the moment and more difficult when fighting people with political capital. However, Mangena says there is existing legislation protecting whistle-blowers.
“There is the Protected Disclosure Act that protects people but the challenge is that the likely consequences of whistleblowing become a deterrent,” she added.
Meanwhile thousands thronged South Africa’s capital Pretoria on Wednesday to protest against government’s lax approach itocorruption that is endemic especially in government parastatals.
For more on this topic get a copy of Forbes Africa October 2015 edition.