State capture whistleblower starts fundraising initiative to help jobless whistleblowers pay bills

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Former Chief Executive Officer of Trillian Management Consulting, Bianca Goodson testifies at the Commission of Inquiry on 4 March  2021 in Johannesburg.
Former Chief Executive Officer of Trillian Management Consulting, Bianca Goodson testifies at the Commission of Inquiry on 4 March 2021 in Johannesburg.
Papi Morake, Gallo Images
  • Bianca Goodson started a fundraising campaign that has already raised more than R80 000.
  • She found herself jobless and depressed after she blew the whistle on dodgy dealings between Gupta-linked Trillian, Eskom and Transnet.
  • She said she might have to sell her home to support her daughter.

Former Trillian CEO and state capture whistleblower Bianca Goodson has started a fundraising campaign to help whistleblowers who find themselves jobless and in dire financial straits.

The 41-year-old decided to blow the whistle on state capture in 2016. 

After exposing dodgy dealings between Gupta-linked Trillian Management Consulting, Eskom and Transnet, Goodson lost her job and suffered from depression. 

She holds a BSc honours degree in physics, calculus and computational physics.

"I don't know what else to do to get work. I started a company, applied for jobs, created websites, [looked at earning] cash from public speaking. So, now I find that I am losing two things that I held on to for a very long time - my skills and my hope," Goodson said on her website.  

The fundraising campaign, which started last week, is fast gathering pace, and has raised more than R80 000 already. The aim is to collect R1 million.

Asked how the money would assist whistleblowers, she said: "Whistleblowers find that they need financial assistance for day-to-day living after losing their jobs. For me personally, my bills for therapy are my single-biggest expense."  

Goodson said she could barely keep her head above water, so much so that the only way she could pay her bills was to sell her house and move in with her parents. 

READ | 'Don't worry about work, you'll get paid anyway' McKinsey told Eskom subcontractor

She said the initiative was aimed at helping whistleblowers cover some costs associated with therapy and day-to-day living.

"I intend to help any state capture whistleblower who needs assistance. This is not limited to Athol Williams, Cynthia Stimpel, Mosilo Mothepu, myself and others."

The University of KwaZulu-Natal graduate added: "Should this campaign be successful, I will use any extra funds to support other whistleblowers who find themselves in a similar situation."  

To donate to Goodson's charity, you can go to backabuddy.co.za.

Trillian is linked to the Gupta family through its association with Salim Essa and Trillian director, Eric Wood.

READ | Gupta-linked Trillian wins its day in court, while Eskom, SARS scramble for assets

It emerged at the Zondo Commission that Eskom allegedly made irregular payments of R600 million to Trillian. 

It is also alleged that consulting firm McKinsey subcontracted Trillian to do non-existing work for Eskom. The two companies allegedly received around R1.7 billion, despite their contracts being invalid.

News24 reported that McKinsey paid back R1 billion. 

State capture whistleblowers Mosilo Mothepu and Themba Maseko, who authored new books, said the government needed to provide financial support to whistleblowers because they lose jobs and livelihoods as a result of speaking out against corruption.

Maseko is the former CEO of the Government Communication and Information System. 

Mothepu is the former CEO of Gupta-linked Trillian Financial Advisory.

The two blew the whistle on grand-scale corruption at their organisations. Both lost jobs and their livelihoods. The pair spoke to News24 editor-in-chief Adriaan Basson on Frontline on Tuesday night about blowing the whistle on corruption.

Maseko said he hasn't earned a salary since 2011 and is struggling to get loans from banks because he doesn't have any proof of income. 

When Mothepu lost her R2.3 million-a-year job at Trillian after exposing corruption, she struggled to make ends meet for two years and was on the verge of selling her home when she was offered a lifeline. At the time, she had R1.3 million in debt.

She told Basson that she had a mental breakdown and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. She racked up R450 000 mental health bill that added to her debt.

Maseko said:

When you blow the whistle, you lose a job and kids are kicked out of school. You lose your house and your car. There needs to be financial support to cover you in that sense. I prefer financial support as opposed to financial reward so that people blow the whistle, not for the purpose of making money out of it but do it because it is the right thing to do. If we suffer consequences, there must be financial support for those who suffered those consequences.

Mothepu added that potential employers saw her as a political risk whose integrity was compromised.

About her condition, Mothepu said: "It's terrible. I don't want to scare anyone; I am still dealing with it."

At the Zondo Commission in December 2020, Mothepu asked Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo to propose the establishment of a Chapter 9 institution to support whistleblowers physically and financially.

"Whistleblowers have risked their lives, livelihoods and mental health in the fight against corruption. Almost all whistleblowers I have met have lost their source of income, either by leaving the organisation or by being pushed out.

"This results in them facing a new trauma - financial loss. I currently am at the point at which I have to consider selling my home in order to support myself and my daughter," Goodson told News24.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
15.73
+0.7%
Rand - Pound
19.77
+0.4%
Rand - Euro
16.80
-0.0%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.18
+0.3%
Rand - Yen
0.12
+1.0%
Gold
1,851.00
+0.2%
Silver
21.78
+0.1%
Palladium
1,996.00
+1.3%
Platinum
962.50
+0.4%
Brent Crude
112.55
+0.5%
Top 40
61,788
+1.3%
All Share
68,367
+1.2%
Resource 10
74,616
+2.9%
Industrial 25
73,018
+0.1%
Financial 15
15,916
+1.1%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE