On Raising the Bar, the segment on SAFM’s Late Night Conversations that Patricia Ntuli and I are delivering with the aim of moving forward positively on all things ethics and corruption in South Africa in this post Zondo Commission era, our conversation turned to the support available to South African whistleblowers who are anticipating or experiencing adverse impacts.
You can listen to the full segment on the SAFM Late Night Conversations – Raising the Bar podcast for Monday 14 February, here. Due to strong listener interest, this episode of Raising the Bar ran longer than usual – and you can start the recording at 03:41.
We were joined by Cynthia Stimpel, the former group treasurer at SAA, a whistleblower whose testimony to the Zondo Commission was a key feature of the first part of the Commission’s report. Cynthia is the author of ‘Hijackers on Board’, her riveting personal account of the experiences she had when speaking up against decisions that would have caused needless expenditure at the South African airline service. It’s a highly recommended read. You will gain a glimpse of Cynthia’s experience if you listen to her on the SAFM Raising the Bar podcast.
Here is key information from our discussion for those unable to listen to the full podcast:
The adverse impact that is experienced by whistleblowers can extend way beyond the ‘occupational detriment’ prohibited in terms of South Africa’s Protected Disclosures Act. The financial, social and personal consequences of being an unwanted whistleblower can be devastating where an employer has no regard for the provisions of the Act.
An important new initiative launches in the coming week which aims to provide holistic support to whistleblowers who anticipate or experience occupational detriment and the many negative arising consequences.
The Whistleblower House is a not for profit, public benefit organisation that facilitates access to support services for whistleblowers, creates awareness of the plight of whistleblowers, and acknowledges the vital role of whistleblowers in strengthening ethics and democracy in South Africa. The organisation boasts a formidable team of directors. Chaired by former deputy commissioner of SARS Ivan Pillay, the other directors of Whistleblower House are Liezl Groenewald, Martha Ngoye, Cynthia Stimpel (all non-executive) and Ben Theron (executive director).
The support available ranges from legal to financial, psychological and security support, offering a specialist support network appropriate to the unique needs of whistleblowers.
Based in Gauteng, The Whistleblower House intends to deliver support to whistleblowers around the country, with satellite contact persons and points in the offing.
Email the team at The Whistleblower House at this address: email@example.com or call them on +27 64 524 0241. You can also complete a contact form on the website. here: https://whistleblowerhouse.org/contact-us/
Register for the launch of The Whistleblower House, an online event hosted by journalist and whistleblower activist Mandy Weiner on Tuesday 22 February 2022 at 09:30, here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_gdmfTNAdQca4dyCeV_LD6Q
The Whistleblower House reaches its launch date purely on the back of pro-bono work by the team. It will depend on donor funding going forward, so if you would like to recognise the critical role that whistleblowers have played in exposing criminal and corrupt activity in our country, this is a worthy destination for your financial or other support. Given its’ powerful leadership team, this is an initiative that is going to succeed and offer significant value to South Africans, be they blowing the whistle themselves, or like the majority of us, benefiting from their bravery.
Penny Milner-Smyth | Director – Ethicalways