Martha Ngoye testifies before the Probe Commission on June 1, 2021 in Johannesburg.

Marta Ngoe – a whistleblower for massive corruption in the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa). She is currently the head of the Prasa Legal Group suspended pending the outcome of the disciplinary hearing.

Her actions, along with several other colleagues, saved the commuter rail agency billions of rand.

She fought against the corrupt Swifambo and Siangen contracts; helped prevent Prasa from making a 1 billion rand “investment”. VBS, months before his collapse; and prevented Prasa from making illegal payments Siayabelonging to the infamous Mahens Mabundaby the way.

Her testimony on Art Zondo Commission detailed the autocratic style of former Prasa CEO Lucky Montana and the insidious influence that Roy Moodley had over the railway agency. In turn, Prasa, under the chairmanship Leonard Ramatlakane, fired herillegally, and used the bottomless coffers provided by the state to remove her from office and sue her for 45 million rupees.

In this article, Ngoye discusses state capture in the context of the assassination of another whistleblower, Babita Deakaran.


In the 2001 Global Corruption Report, Nobel laureate Rigoberto Menchu ​​Tum said: “Without strong monitoring institutions, impunity becomes the foundation on which systems of corruption are built.”

There is some good news for those of us fighting corruption recently:

  • On April 11, Spanish authorities sent a request for legal aid in connection with allegations of corruption against Mr Makhensa Mabunda in connection with the purchase of Prasa locomotives.
  • On August 2, the Financial Times reported that Bain & Co had been banned from doing business with the UK government for “serious breaches” in South Africa.
  • The news is bitter because it opposes the authorities of South Africa and Spain and England. The South African state was the victim of the crimes allegedly committed by Mabunda and Bain. However, the state has not yet reached the point where it even openly labels the alleged perpetrators of these crimes as “suspects.” On the contrary, there is a disturbing closeness of organized business and government to Bain. And the media reports that Mabunda is so loaded that the cost of his kitchen cabinets could build many RDP houses.

Corrupt consultants

I believe a ban on Bain by the UK government would probably please Babita Deakaran because it would be an example of the consultants who aided and abetted the state capture getting some sense of justice.

Often, when masterminds of state capture are exposed, much less light is shed on the consultants to companies like Bain who facilitated their corruption and the staggering fees they received. To clear their names, they simply voluntarily return the fees received from the state capture and continue to earn additional fees from the current business.

The problem with this was aptly explained by Deakaran: “Every few years we have a different team of people coming in and robbing, and the funds seem to be a bottomless pit.”

The various teams of state invaders have always needed friendly professional service providers with very flexible ethics.

This is a typical way they operate to silence whistleblowers:

  • They painstakingly collect documents that don’t add up and call it an investigation.
  • They take the results of their work and use them to justify wrongful firing, wrongful suspension, indictment, prosecution, and process management with a shameless pre-determined outcome purchased by the hourly rate. They seek appeals and reviews when others do not support the pre-purchased outcome.

Helpful bureaucrats

After Babita’s murder, the Premier of Gauteng promised that there would be justice for her. When I shared my tribute to her after her death, I said that unfortunately there would be no justice for the people right under the Prime Minister’s nose, even though they are the easiest to find because they are untouchable. Evidence of their actions against Deakaran is found in readily available memos, minutes and documents showing that she was removed from positions in which she had too much information; and in bills for services rendered and in her solicitations.

Justice for Deakaran should have started with the people who harassed her in Gauteng Health. These people still enjoy job security because they remain useful.

Helpful officials who help the state capture the masterminds are everywhere. They settled down neatly at their easy workplaces. I sat at the table and stood in front of them. They are never touched. They are simply rinsed and repeated in other entities. They are hardly mentioned in the newspapers.

Justice for the Deokaran demands that they be named, treated fairly and shamed.

Every few years, a different team of looters goes to different government offices. Although the funds they loot and help loot seem endless, they are not. Looting means our nation’s debt increases, the most vulnerable are deprived of services, our collective pride in our country diminishes, and our children have less money to run this country.

Of course, there are many exceptions to these corrupt bureaucrats. Athol Williams, who had devoted his life to helping Lord Peter Hayne secure consequences for Bane, had to banish himself to do his job safely. He became a modern leper. The public sector and the private sector agree to refuse to touch it because it is honest and cannot be compromised. This country owes him a lot.

Counterbalancing the looters are people like Deakaran and Williams. We are lucky that there are still people like them in our country and in our institutions. When we remember the killing of Babita Deakaran, we are called to carry on, to fight on, not to be afraid.

We remember Babita. This is our land, looters will not win!

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