South African poet, former University of Cape Town (UCT) Professor and whistleblower Athol Williams has left South Africa fearing for his safety.
Williams testified before the Zondo Commission where he exposed companies and individuals involved in state capture. According to Williams’ testimony, UCT’s ombudsman offered him hush money to stop “raising concerns” about their dealings with state capture companies.
However, the author said in a statement on Sunday, November 7 that the government offered him no protection after he acted in the public interest.
“I implicated 39 parties in my testimony so threats could come from many places. After receiving warnings from trusted allies and a civil society organisation about a coordinated effort against me, I took the sad step to leave home, again without any help.
“Rather than diminish after I testified, these concerns increased while the prospect of prosecutions grew. After Babita Deokaran was assassinated, concerns spiked, because it showed that authorities were choosing not to proactively protect whistleblowers,” Williams said.
Read the full statement here:
FORCED TO LEAVE SOUTH AFRICA FOR MY SAFETY: You can read the statement here: https://t.co/YLUnUztzZm
— Athol Williams (@Athol_Williams) November 7, 2021
Senior Gauteng Health official and corruption whistleblower Deokaran was shot several times outside her home in Winchester Hills. She was a key whistleblower in an investigation into dodgy personal protective equipment (PPE) contracts in Gauteng, IOL reports.
Williams went on to say that we have a very dangerous situation in South Africa where we accept the narrative that only a few bad apples are involved in state capture.
“The reality is that there are many important and influential people who we revere in society, who we offer awards to, who sit on boards and committees and lead grand initiatives and organisations, who are in fact enabling this capture and benefitting from it.
“The corrupted web stretches across our society and needs bold action to clear this out. It starts with each of us. Challenge those around you to act with conscience and with courage,” Williams reiterated.