Various civil society organizations have called on the presidency to protect whistleblowers if it is serious about fighting corruption in the country.

The calls came during a memorial rally for former Gauteng Department of Health Chief Financial Accounting Officer Babita Deakaran in Mondeora, Johannesburg.

The 53-year-old was shot dead outside her home in southern Johannesburg a year ago in what is believed to be a hit-and-run attack. It uncovered alleged corruption in the department involving, among other things, PPE contracts. She was also a witness in the SIU investigation into the PPE scandal.

Wayne Davenage of Undoing Tax Abuse says many whistleblowers have decided to back off because of a lack of government protection.

“We see so much evidence, so much information, but nothing happens. We are asking the government, we are asking the president to do the work that needs to be done. We can’t sit here a year later and nothing has happened with all the things we read about. After Babbitt’s death, we had several cases where we worked with informants who backed down and were afraid to go down the same path as Babbitt.”

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