PLATFORM TO PROTECT WHISTLEBLOWERS IN AFRICA (PPLAAF)
Since its launch in March 2017 in Dakar, the Platform to Protect Whistleblowers in Africa (PPLAAF) is supported by the Fondation pour l’Egalité des Chances en Afrique, which financially participate to its operating budget.
PPLAAF offers four types of services :
Technical assistance. Whistleblowers can join PPLAAF through a secured website, an encrypted messaging service, and a hotline in French and English initially, which will eventually be in other African languages.
Legal assistance. Whistleblowers who contact PPLAAF can be directed to a local and/or international lawyer explaining them the risks they face, the way they can safely report facts on crimes, offenses and acts of corruption, the legal provisions to protect them from reprisals, etc. The lawyer tries to answer any other questions on the whistleblower's situation. In case of judicial proceedings, this lawyer can assist and defend the whistleblower.
Assistance with the media. If the whistleblower and the lawyer agree that the information should be given to the media, PPLAAF can help to contact the most suitable journalist and transfer the information. Many partnerships with local and international journalists have been made. PPLAAF also helps the whistleblower and journalists to deepen the investigations.
Awareness campaigns and support to the research. PPLAAF organises meetings, writes guidance documents and conduct awreness activities to influence national and regional authorities into adopting strong laws to protect whistleblowers and hold authors of illegal acts accountable.
PPLAAF commit to ensure that, if some information or documents have to be published during a lawsuit, the publication would not permit to identify the whistleblower, unless the whistleblower wishes to be identified or known.
PPLAAF represents today a number of whisteblowers, notably from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria and South Africa.
The information given by those whistleblowers notably made it possible, with the help of journalists from the French newspaper Le Monde, to discover proofs of that public money was spent for the private interest of DRC's President Kabila. A yacht, the Enigma XK, belonging to people close to the Head of State, could be identified.
PPLAAF also works with whistleblowers from South Africa. PPLAAF retrieved the Gupta Leaks, consisting of more than 200.000 emails deciphering the relations between the Gupta family and President Zuma. PPLAAF assists two other whistleblowers, former managers of Trillian, a society created to win public markets for the benefit of the Guptas. Legal proceedings are to be launched to freeze the assets of the Gupta family.
PPLAAF also helps the Nigerian authorities to adopt a progressive law to protect whistleblowers. PPLAAF also supported a former policeman who reported financial frauds to the authorities involving the Chairman of Police Service Commission.
During a few months, PPLAAF also trained Guinean and Mauritanian activists about the use of digital encrypted tools.