Athol Williams: Corporate SA and govt actively leaving whistleblowers exposed
- Athol Williams says both government and the private sector are failing whistleblowers in SA
- Williams says he fled the country last week due to safety concerns
"I am on my own as I have been for the last two years since I blew the whistle."
Those are the words of corruption whistleblower and author Athol Williams, who left South Africa last week citing growing safety concerns.
Williams spoke to Midday Report host Mandy Wiener from an undisclosed location on Monday.
He says he doesn't know who to trust or turn to for help after being left out in the cold by corporate SA and government authorities.
The former University of Cape Town (UCT) ethics lecturer exposed companies and individuals involved in state capture and testified before the Zondo Commission in March this year.
He released a statement on Sunday revealing that he boarded a flight out of the country on Monday 1 November after feeling increasingly unsafe.
Williams says whistleblowers shouldn't have to wait until there is a gun pointed at their heads before expressing that they are in danger.
He says he has had no support or protection after implicating 39 parties in his state capture testimony.
The author and poet says corruption is threatening South Africa's democracy and he refuses to be silenced.
Why is there no support for whistleblowers? My only answer can be because those who can make a difference don't want whistleblowers to be supported. We need support, which means we need financial support, we need counselling support, we need safety support, that doesn't cost that much, and we need protection.Athol Williams
The bottom line is I felt my life was in danger not because of a direct threat but because of several warnings I received. It wasn't so much the danger I was facing, but that the fact that I was getting no support and no protection from anyone. I just felt exposed.Athol Williams
In light of Babita Deokaran's assassination, all the other whistleblowers I speak to all talk about the fear they face.Athol Williams
I was living in fear, I wasn't leaving my apartment. When I did go out, I'd lie down in the back seat so no one could see me. It was ridiculous how I was living. For me, the best thing to do was to leave for my own safety.Athol Williams