Whistleblower at risk
EKURHULENI: THREATENING CALLS, SUSPICIOUS INVITATIONS, STALKING
Man’s been on a crusade to expose alleged graft by top metro staffer.
The man who blew the whistle on the City of Ekurhuleni social worker and senior staffer Pauline Ngakane, for alleged involvement in dubious multimillion-rand tenders, is living in fear after several threats to his life.
After blowing the lid on the shady deals involving Ngakane, which led to the metro suspending her, SA Communist Party activist Ndzipo Kalipa has reported to ANC bigwigs and the police that he received threatening phone calls and “suspicious invitations” which put his life in danger.
Since last year, Kalipa has been on a crusade to expose alleged underhanded dealings involving Ngakane and questionable service providers who have siphoned millions from the metro in tenders.
The awarded tenders included the appointment of “accredited training service providers” to train early childhood development practitioners from 1 July, 2017 until 30 June last year, which Kalipa described as “unaccredited training – a waste of taxpayers’ money”.
Kalipa also lodged an official complaint with the Council for Social Service Professions for “unethical and corrupt behaviour, involving fraudulent tenders”.
His determination to expose graft at Ekurhuleni has, however, come at a price.
“My life has been in danger because some people are uncomfortable about me raising issues regarding corruption. I have been followed, received several threatening phone calls and invited to suspicious events.
“Last December, I alerted the ANC provincial secretary Jacob Khawe about my experience, leading to the matter being raised with the former police MEC Sizakele Malobane, former police provincial commissioner Deliwe se Lange and Major-General Prince Mokotedi of the Hawks. Buno police protection was provided,” said Kalipa.
Khawe confirmed he had been informed by Kalipa about “threats to his life”.
“He (Kalipa) did indicate this to me and we arranged that he meet the police MEC and intelligence. I do not know what transpired after that,” Khawe said.
Enquiries about who takes responsibility for the protection of witnesses and whistleblowers, the police and the justice departments referred The Citizen to the National Prosecuting Authority
NPA spokesperson Bulelwa Makeke said: “We only have a protection service that caters for witnesses who appear in court cases involving NPA investigations.
“Whistleblowers fall outside this category. But in the case of Mr Kalipa, it is a matter that we can consider on the basis that he did not just expose graft in the media but he reported the matter to the police and the person involved has now been suspended.
“He would have to provide us the details, including the case number.”
Meanwhile, police department spokesperson Lirandzu Themba said the High Court in Pretoria would soon hear Police Minister Bheki Cele’s heads of argument against the findings of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane that Cele’s department was compelled to offer protection to another whistle-blower, Thabiso Zulu.
Zulu, a friend of slain former ANC Youth League secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa, who has survived a murder attempt, gave evidence at the Moerane Commission of Inquiry investigating political killigs in KwaZulu-Natal, about corruption in the Umzimkhulu local municipality and the murder of Magaqa.
We arranged that Kalipa meet the police MEC