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CW bids farewell to Lewis who have made a significant contribution to the fight against corruption in South Africa

By Hajira Khota

Whistle-blowers’ journeys in South Africa have become widely publicised, including the often disastrous effects of their disclosures.

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) says it has put procedures in place to safeguard the safety of witnesses and whistleblowers following the death of Babita Deokaran, the acting chief financial officer of the Gauteng health department.

Executive director David Lewis spoke to Radio Islam International; he says that whistle blowing is not an easy task by blowing the whistle on powerful people with a lot of resources.

“The public must celebrate with whistleblowers as they are helping to fight corruption”.

Executive Director David Lewis and board chairperson Mavuso Msimang will leave Corruption Watch (CW) at the end of December. The latter completes their second term on the organisation’s board of directors, while Lewis moves on to other endeavours.

Lewis says that is has been 10 years, and CW needs a new pair of fresh eyes, change and a lot of continuity.

Lewis mobilised the public to report their experiences of corruption, and hold corrupt leaders to account, and has led the organisation since January 2012.

A group of concerned citizens came together more than ten years ago to confront what was then a developing corruption problem in South Africa. Lewis, the former chairman of the Competition Tribunal, led the effort, launching an ambitious and innovative project to mobilise the people to denounce corruption and hold corrupt authorities accountable.

CW was founded as the largest anti-corruption civil society organisation at the time, and afterwards as the South African chapter of Transparency International.

Lewis has expertly steered CW through the tricky intersection of civil society, government, and the commercial sector, ensuring that whistle-blowers’ voices – and rights – have stayed on the national agenda while maintaining the organization’s purposely non-partisan posture.

He added that he is confident about the future of CW.

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