Corruption cost taxpayers around R1.5 trillion during Jacob Zuma’s spell as president of South Africa. Despite attempts by the police, the courts and the Public Protector to stem the rising tide of graft in South Africa, several politicians were rewarded with high office after stealing the aspirations of millions of people.
Fred Daniel, one citizen among many targeted by predator politicians, stood up against the scourge. The retaliation he faced after attempts by corrupt politicians to grab his nature reserve in Mpumalanga included vandalism, arson, smears and death threats. His nemesis is Deputy President D.D. Mabuza, who presided over several departments in the province that were wrecked by graft before he ascended to the position of the second most powerful politician in the country. Fred has won more than twenty cases over the past fifteen years in magistrates’ and high courts where his claims of corruption-related harassment were found credible. The North Gauteng High Court is hearing his damages claim against Mabuza, government departments and officials amounting to more than R1 billion. It stems from Fred’s exposure of fraudulent land scams allegedly orchestrated by Mabuza.
At great personal cost, Fred and his family stood up to corruption. They endured the loss of a livelihood and their home – and the fear that follows when the government places a target on the back of a citizen blowing the whistle on its misdeeds. Fred will not back down. For him, failure is not an option.