The Open Democracy Advice Centre (Odac) is proud to announce the launch of its latest piece of extensive research on the lived experience of South African whistleblowers, titled Heroes Under Fire.

Whistleblowers in South Africa are under threat as never before. A deepening culture of impunity and lack of accountability is making it harder for them to expose wrongdoing.

When we consider the actual experiences of citizens who blow the whistle in South Africa, it becomes clear that the ambitious constitutional principles that promote transparency are not enough to create a safe environment that can fully foster corruption fighting.

Whistleblowers in South Africa make decisions to blow the whistle based on their strong desire for justice, but because of these acts become isolated and vulnerable. While their stories should be read and considered as a way of acknowledging these often silenced voices, as an organisation, Odac has also been able to use these narratives to identify the key policy and legislative changes necessary to make the environment better for them.

Because of these stories Odac is calling for dramatic and innovative changes to the legislative environment to encourage whistleblowers, and protect them more effectively. These recommendations come at an important time, as proposed amendments to the Protected Disclosures Act will be presented to Parliament during 2015.

Download a pdf version of the research here or contact Odac about access to a hard copy version.



Odac’s new publication, Heroes Under Fire, tells the stories of whistleblowers. They are all unique, but similarities emerge that paint a picture of struggle and adversity for people seeking to do the right thing in the public interest.
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