Corrupt people must be exposed for their abuse of public trust

Image: ISTOCK

It is something of a truism to observe that violence characterises South African society. The same applies to the observation that corruption is close to endemic in our country, with many officials and politicians implicated in dirty deals.

These two tendencies have coalesced in a disturbing phenomenon that is on the increase in our province and country — the cold-blooded assassination of whistle-blowers and political, or business, rivals.

While KwaZulu-Natal has seen the greatest number of such ‘hits’, hired guns are no longer confined to that province.

A number of people prominent in the Eastern Cape taxi industry have been killed by emboldened gunmen over the past few years; disturbingly few arrests have ensued.

And in the rancid mire that is much of local government in our province, hits have also occurred.

We reported on Tuesday that a municipal official, Zwelilungile Siqhola, is facing charges after allegedly seeking to hire a hitman to kill Mhlontlo municipal manager Thando Mase, his former boss who is expected to testify against him in a fraud case.  

Cogta MEC Xolile Nqatha rightly described the development as “deeply concerning”. It is in fact shocking. The police  intelligence officers who went undercover to effect the arrest are to be commended as far too often assassins have not been brought to justice.

We recall that earlier this year Thandile Mbono, a supply chain official at the same municipality, was shot dead.

So desperate are some in the corridors of power to silence
whistle-blowers that they have even sought to intimidate journalists

Days later a unionist at Amathole District Municipality, Simphiwe Mdingi, died in a hail of bullets in the driveway of his Amalinda, East London, home. Mdingi was a whistle-blower who had in the past supplied the Daily Dispatch with important tip-offs and at the time of his death wanted to share information about alleged corruption linked to the supply of emergency drought relief by ADM.

So desperate are some in the corridors of power to silence whistle-blowers that they have even sought to intimidate journalists from exposing the facts that the public has a right to know, recently even allegedly going so far as to consider taking out hits on reporters.

Such people need to be exposed for their abuse of public trust and called to account, and this newspaper is committed to investigating allegations of wrongdoing, no matter who is involved, and reporting without fear or favour.



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