06/03/2018 10:33 SAST | Updated 06/03/2018 12:56 SAST

Whistleblower Nomawethu Kunene Goes Missing

The family of Nomawethu Kunene, a whistleblower in regional and provincial Gauteng health department scandals, is asking the public to help locate her.

A Gauteng whistleblower by the name of Nomawethu Kunene has been missing since Monday, February 26. Kunene blew the whistle over alleged corruption involving officials of the Gauteng departments of social development.

Kunene is a deputy director at West Rand NGO A Re Ageng Social Services. The organisation offers shelters for abused women and children, including six victim-empowerment centres to serve survivors of rape, domestic violence and other crimes.


The organisation has been embroiled in a long-running legal case involving alleged money laundering, corruption and the blatant abuse of power by senior officials of the social development departments.

These allegations relate to the irregular manner in which the Gauteng's departments of social development used A Re Ageng Social Services facility as an unwitting conduit to transfer millions into the Life Esidimeni account.

It is alleged that in October 2016, when R10-million mysteriously landed in A Re Ageng Social Services account, the organisation refused to transfer the money onward to Life Esidimeni.

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The refusal resulted in the NGO and its directors being repeatedly victimised and threatened, it is claimed. The threat escalated when the department unlawfully removed all of A Re Ageng Social Services beneficiaries.

The pressure on the directors increased again when R5-million of the R10-million was hacked out of the NGO's Absa account.

Kunene was unlawfully arrested in Brooklyn Shopping Mall in December 2017, in a supposed "crime intelligence" operation by a number of policemen – who arrived in more than 10 cars. She was not charged for the theft of the R5-million, because she was supposedly being held in an unrelated case – one unknown to her, with a completely different case number.

Currently, on bail regarding that case, Kunene disappeared last Monday, and her whereabouts are still unknown. HuffPost spoke to Mpule Thejane-Lenyehelo, Director and founder of A Re Ageng Social Services, who said the family is urging the public to assist in finding her.

Anyone with any information is asked to her colleague on 072 700 6988, or the SAPS on 011 767 2300.

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What is a whistleblower?

A whistleblower is a person who exposes activity that is illegal, unethical, or not correct within an organisation, whether private or public.