South Africa: 'This Is a WhatsApp Whistleblowing Message. I Don't Know How Else to Do It'


Out of desperation while on a pilgrimage in France, former SAA treasurer Cynthia Stimpel fired off a text message to officials at National Treasury, warning them of a dirty deal in the making. It was ignored.

They had stalled and blocked her at every turn, but former SAA treasurer Cynthia Stimpel was relentless in her efforts to stop a R15-billion cash- raising deal from being pulled off outside of due process - and with the help of a transaction adviser for R300-million - while South African banks could do it cheaper.

The national carrier was embroiled in a massive scandal around this deal in 2016, and on Thursday 13 June 2019 the State Capture Commission heard how Stimpel, during a walking pilgrimage in France over Easter that year, got word from a colleague that BnP Capital, initially recommended as a transaction adviser at a fee of R2.6-million for the deal, would now also be sourcing the loan for SAA.

Deeply disturbed, she went to a coffee shop to access Wi-Fi and wrote to Treasury officials:

"This is a WhatsApp whistleblowing message. I don't know how else to do it."

Stimpel continued by writing that she had just received notice that...

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