News24

Security boss 'tried to silence whistleblower'

2012-02-20 21:15

Cape Town - The acting state security director general came under fire for trying to “silence” a whistleblower in the department on Monday.

The Right2Know campaign said in a statement that it “strongly condemns the actions” of the acting director general, Dennis Dlomo.  

This follows a City Press article on Sunday about fraud in the state security agency’s medical scheme.

The whistleblower, Roberta Nation, claims that the State Security Agency (SSA) tried to cover up her allegations of fraud. Nation was in charge of the fraud unit of the SSA’s medical scheme.

Nation reportedly launched a grievance procedure following her complaints to superiors about rampant fraud at the scheme, known as OpMed.

After numerous attempts to deal with her grievance within the SSA came to nought, she opted for lawyers outside the agency to take up her case.

“She has taken the step of going to the press as a last resort, after the agency failed to do anything substantive about her claims,” the R2K said.

The SSA, however, told City Press it wasn’t a whistleblowing matter but rather a “labour relations issue” that simply needed to be handled within the agency.

“All members of the civilian intelligence community are governed by the Intelligence Services Act... For internal proceedings, people have lawyers of their choice from within the civilian intelligence community, including the office of the inspector general of intelligence.

“No one in internal processes gets representations outside.

“It is just contrary to the idea of internal proceedings. This is because access to premises and classified information is only allowed to those who possess valid security clearances.

“Lawyers of your choice that are outside would not have security clearances. They would be incompetent to represent anyone without such access.

“The prohibition is international best practice.”

The activist group said that the incident was symptomatic of the need for “radical revisions” in the secrecy bill that would include protecting whistleblowers. The group said the matter was of particular urgency in the state security cluster because it lacks accountability to the public.

Comments
  • Ben - 2012-02-20 21:29

    Is there someone somewhere who is not corrupt. Please come forward.

      cameronjohnprice - 2012-02-20 21:31

      Here I am......Oh, you mean as in government or big business....then no, sorry.

      Sheik - 2012-02-20 22:22

      You going to wait a long time Ben S, for someone from the ANC to come forward. The ANC has perfected Corruption and taken it to a new level.

      Michael - 2012-03-14 22:52

      The whole ANC can step forward. They're not corrupt, they are ALLEGED to be corrupt. and that's fine. "alleged" means they can be corrupt but not face the music. That's your cue, ANC, step on up, alleged criminals.

  • maseratifittipaldi - 2012-02-20 21:30

    "After numerous attempts to deal with her grievance within the SSA came to nought, she opted for lawyers outside the agency to take up her case". This is why she went outside. So this spin about security clearance is irrelevant. She should have gone to the Newspapers with details. This Dennis Dlomo should be fired.

  • Victor - 2012-02-20 21:31

    What do you expect from ANC comrades???

  • miyo27 - 2012-02-20 22:06

    And the president claims he wants to get rid of corruption and all corrupt officials. Well, start doing something about it. Get your machine guns and go chase them! Do something about it! What a pathetic government. The ruling party is only ruling itself, but ruining the country. Congrats

      Sheik - 2012-02-20 22:30

      The President cannot rid the Government of corruption, it would leave all spheres of Government without staff, including the Presidency.

      John - 2012-02-21 07:37

      Sheik, you say that getting rid of corruption would leave all sheres of Government with out staff. Is that a bad thing? At least it would save R billions in salaries for useless mony grabbing ANC cadres and R billions from their corrupt practices.

  • Multi - 2012-02-20 22:35

    Aha so you can only get a lawyer to oppose the state security agency from the state security agency... Somebody didn't think this through very well...

  • Sizwe - 2012-02-20 23:57

    The fact of the matter is that the Intelligence Services Act and its regulations have been around for -or close to- a decade and this is not new procedure! Even if she tried internal processes Mrs nation still had access to the relevant bargaining/satutory Council to deal with her Unfair Labour practice, and need not have taken state matters to the media. If she could claim the bargaining/statutory council also failed her and a review to the Labour court also failed, then she would have a case but until then you are sworn to secrecy by choice, and this is part of employment practices in security agencies the world over! The ISA and its regulations clearly state that a member needs to get legal representation which has adequate security clearance. If its corruption that your are concerned with, then the office of the Inspector General of Intelligence was the correct body to raise it with. And failing that you had the SAPS Criminal Intelligence Division to turn to, as they take the lead in matters of national security and finally, you could have turned to the hawks for assistance. Since you failed to take such steps, you cannot honestly proclaim to have exhausted all statutory means available to you. With that in mind, the simple conclusion is that indeed this is a labour issue and has no business being on the front page of newspapaers! Its a pity to think you took an oath that you are today betraying, what a shame! #SMH#

      maseratifittipaldi - 2012-02-21 06:42

      Siswe : The only thing that could vaguely be regarded as a labour issue in this case, is the grievance. Ms. Nation obviously perceives her working climate and conditions as corrupt. The actual corruption allegation has nothing to do with labour relations or with security clearance. It is about common criminality within a medical scheme. Once we acknowledge that corruption, fraud, theft, nepotism etc. within government departments is NOT an "internal" but a PUBLIC matter,only then will we start on the road to respectable governance. Any effort by anyone trying to intimidate or neutralise a "whistleblower" should be made to be a criminal offence. Any allegation should be investigated by the media and the SAPS, free of any official interference.

      Mary-Lou - 2012-02-21 07:26

      You idiot Sizwe. The sate security agency is not included in the labour relations act and therefore she was free to blow the whistle. The protected disclosures act is applicable to every citizen irrespective of their occupation. Fraud is a criminal matter and not a labour dispute so her case has merit.

  • Kevin - 2012-02-21 06:25

    When these low down useless thugs have stolen the medical aid money there is no money for critical operations and people die. Charge these fraudulent thugs with murder.

  • Johan - 2012-02-21 06:33

    I am not corrupt, but then I am not an ANC member and I do not work for the government lol

      Johan - 2012-02-21 07:07

      This comment was in response to the comment by Ben S above.

  • swavka - 2012-02-21 07:36

    The ANC has taken corruption to a new level, but what is more frightening is that the majority of the populace take it as norm. It makes one fearful of the future - that is if you are looking at the future, whereas the ANC (government) can only see as far as their own nose.

  • ludlowdj - 2012-02-21 09:11

    The ANC is rotten to the core, and the rot starts at the very top and works its way down. Time to get out while the going it still good, the ANC will not give up power even if voted out in a legitimate election.

  • Hayley - 2012-02-21 22:09

    For those of you genuinely concerned about whistleblowing, the secrecy bill and the general lack of good government please consider supporting the International protest against the secrecy bill: https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/NoToSecrecy/

  • Neil - 2012-02-22 14:29

    International best practice? No wonder the world is in such a mess!

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