Whistleblowers must be protected, says Raymond Zondo at University of Fort Hare lecture

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Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.
Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.
Gallo Images/OJ Koloti
  • Chief Justice Raymond Zondo says corruption busters and whistleblowers at the University of Fort Hare must be protected.
  • He said this would advance the vision of former ANC leader OR Tambo.
  • Zondo said the ANC had betrayed this vision through state capture.

Whistleblowers who expose corruption must be supported and encouraged to speak up, said Chief Justice Raymond Zondo during the OR Tambo lecture at the University of Fort Hare in the Eastern Cape. 

Zondo added sheltering corrupt figures in the government or public institutions destroyed the values and foundation on which former leaders like Tambo built South Africa. 

He said the university, being one of the institutions mired in corruption allegations, intimidation, and the killing of employees, needed to be protected from elements that could collapse it. 

Zondo added: "We must show no tolerance of corruption. If we tolerate it, we betray the values that Oliver Tambo used to guide his direction and fight. I know that in this institution, there are serious matters relating to corruption.

"All of us must encourage the leaders to continue fighting corruption. Those who are corrupt must know that they have no support or place to hide. We must not leave everything to the police."

READ | University of Fort Hare vice-chancellor moved to 'safe' location' after bodyguard shot dead

He said the ruling party - whose web of corruption was laid bare before the State Capture Commission of Inquiry which he chaired - had betrayed Tambo.

Corrupt MPs, former president Jacob Zuma, and the corruption-accused Gupta family were among the instrumental figures who destroyed the ANC, he said.

"Tambo would have been shocked to learn from the report of the state capture commission that the amounts paid to the organs of state to entities directly controlled by the Guptas were in the region of R58 billion."

Zondo added South Africans, who were deprived of dignified decent livelihoods during apartheid, were no better off under an ANC government, which had disregarded reports exposing corruption in different spheres of government, including municipalities.

He said: "When municipalities are dysfunctional, they cannot deliver services. I believe that because Oliver Tambo was a man of truth, he would tell this organisation: 'you cannot reconcile your conduct in allowing so many municipalities to collapse, which means they will not be able to deliver services as needed by people.'

Zondo added it was concerning many leaders would rather defend corruption than take a stand against it and because of this, state-owned entities like Denel, Eskom, and SARS, once the envy of other agencies globally, have now slipped to the bottom.

He also called for the protection of whistle blowers, saying they should be rewarded if their tip-offs led to the recovery of monies that would have been lost to corruption and fraud. 

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