Continued victimisation of Zelda Holtzman condemned – R2K

Organisation says attempts to dismiss PPS head is punishment for her blowing whistle on abuse of state resources

R2K condemns possible ousting of Zelda Holtzman by Parliament!

11 October 2017

R2K is dismayed by the continued victimisation of Parliamentary whistleblower Zelda Holtzman, after a disciplinary inquiry has recommended her dismissal. This comes two years after Holtzman was suspended.

We remain convinced that the attempts to dismiss Holtzman are ‘punishment’ after she blew the whistle against abuse of state resources. Holtzman had raised concerns about Secretary to Parliament Gengezi Mgidlana's unauthorised use of ‘blue light’ vehicles and the securitisation of Parliament through the recruitment of police to Parliament's security services.

Parliament must respect whistleblowers. In this country we have normalised corruption so much that we see outrageous attacks on whistleblowers — from corruption-busting municipal officials to whistleblowers who act against corporate crime. The institutional culture in the private and public sectors must embrace whistleblowers as vital actors in our collective efforts to safeguard and deepen our democracy, not as troublemakers.

In July, R2K highlighted the mysterious theft of Holtzman’s documents from her lawyer’s office. These reportedly contained evidence of possible financial mismanagement by the now-suspended Secretary of Parliament,  Mr Mgidlana. To date, SAPS has produced no suspects and made no arrests.

We also call on the public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, who was investigating Mgidlana following a complaint lodged by the National Education Health and Allied Workers Union to finalise her investigation.

We call on the people of South Africa to reject the victimisation of whistleblowers.

Issued by Busi Mtabane, Right2Know communicator, 11 October 2017