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SA’s failure to protect whistle-blowers apparent in Williams’ exodus

Unite 4 Mzansi™ notes with sadness the news of Athol Williams’ recent departure from South Africa. Williams is a celebrated social and ethics philosopher, corruption whistle-blower and Unite 4 Mzansi™ advocate. Williams’ departure comes after he received a host of warnings from his associates about what could happen to him for speaking out and giving evidence at the Zondo Commission in August.

One of the biggest obstacles standing in the country’s way of moving forward to achieve the NDP and the UN SDGs is the issue of corruption. South Africa’s impervious culture of impunity since the mid-2000s has led to state institutions of accountability faltering and corruption undermining our democracy and destroying our economy.

Williams’ departure is an indictment against South Africa’s ability to protect whistle-blowers and we believe that until society takes action to protect those who stand against corruption, the country’s efforts to fight fraud and corruption will continue to be undermined. 

It is for this reason that Unite 4 Mzansi™ is working on a variety of projects to mobilise civil society to work together to see what can be done to prevent corruption in both the private and public sector as well as an initiative that seeks to educate society around key lessons that could be learnt from state capture and the reported corruption incidents in South Africa through a series of videos which are available to the public. 

The next Unite 4 Mzansi™ cast study video, which looks at the Transnet Case Study, will be released on International Anti-Corruption Day on 9 December 2021 and will be available on the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants’ YouTube channel.   DM/BM

About Unite 4 Mzansi™ 

Unite 4 Mzansi™: Stand for Truth aims to create solutions to the nine impediments to South Africa’s economic growth, as per the National Development Plan (NDP), as well as the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Through the initiative, we will unveil the key lessons that could be learnt from state capture and the corruption that has occurred in companies in order to mobilise civil society to work together to see what can be done to prevent such an occurrence from happening in the private and public sector again.

The first Unite 4 Mzansi™ case study: State Capture 101 summarises the history of state capture in South Africa. We will be presenting other case study videos based on the work our research partner has done to illustrate where the Guardians of Governance have failed – allowing for such corruption to take place – in the near future. 

Unite 4 Mzansi™ is powered by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants

About SAICA 

SAICA, South Africa’s pre-eminent accountancy body, is widely recognised as one of the world’s leading accounting institutes. The Institute provides a wide range of support services to more than 46 000 members and associates who are chartered accountants [CAs(SA)], as well as associate general accountants [AGAs(SA)] and accounting technicians [ATs(SA)], who hold positions as CEOs, MDs, board directors, business owners, chief financial officers, auditors and leaders in every sphere of commerce and industry, and who play a significant role in the nation’s highly dynamic business sector and economic development.


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