Whistleblower Lodges Case Over Death Threats

Thato Raphaka probed corruption at the Sub Land Board
Thato Raphaka probed corruption at the Sub Land Board

A former board member of Mmathubudukwane Sub Land Board has opened a case with the Mmathubudukwane police station, following death threats for reporting corrupt activity at the Sub Land Board.

The whistleblower, whose name is known to this publication, said he was one of the few people who were interviewed by a team of investigators who had been sent by former permanent secretary at the Ministry of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services Thato Raphaka, to probe allegations of corrupt practices at the Sub Land Board.

According to the whistleblower, the interview happened while he was serving notice to leave the board last November. 

He said, he blew the whistle on issues such as illegal self-allocation of land by some board members, nepotism and illegal sale of land by authorities, but was surprised later on that some officials he had mentioned in the interview confronted him, indicating that the investigative interview was not deservedly treated as confidential.

He said that he received a message last month from an unknown number allegedly threatening to shoot him for talking to the investigators about the alleged corrupter in the interview.

“I have reported the matter to the police.

They have confirmed the message was sent through a South African number, but they are still trying to trace its owner.

The person says in the message that I told lies about his brother, who is the Secretary when I was being interviewed,” the whistleblower said.

“The sender says he will shoot me if he sees me. My life is in danger because someone at the ministry disclosed my identity to the authorities at the Sub Land Board even though we were told that the information was confidential and that our identities would be protected.”

He also accuses the ministry officials of failing to protect his identity as promised, and that they are instead protecting the official who leaked the privileged information.

Mmathubudukwane police station commander, superintendent Mathews Gatang confirmed that indeed a case has been opened after the whistleblower received death threats.

“Right now, I can’t reveal much because our investigations are ongoing. The number that the message was sent from is South African, so it has been difficult to trace it.

We have engaged our cyber office and Interpol to assist. We are still waiting for their feedback on that,” Gatang said.

Gatang added it could take some time before the perpetrator is apprehended.

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