Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Thandi Mbambo has confirmed to the City Press that there is credibility to allegations that a hitman had targeted Eskom whistleblower Dorothy Mmushi.
“I can tell you that the reason we’re investigating the matter in this manner is that there’s substance to what Mmushi’s brought to us,” said Mbambo.
Mbambo added that “great strides” have been made in the “complex case.”
“We don’t want to compromise the investigation at this sensitive stage,” said Mbambo.
“We really just need a little space to conclude the investigation so that we can bring the closure that’s desired.”
Mmushi said she had received updates from the police but believed that given the information the Hawks have, “an arrest should have been made already.”
According to Mmushi, the alleged hitman called her in July 2023, informing her that he had been paid an advance fee of R50,000 to kill her — with a further R350,000 receivable once he had completed the hit.
The hitman allegedly said the assassination contract was to stop her from revealing information about possible collusion between high-ranking Eskom officials and service providers.
“I need you to understand properly what I’m telling you. Your boss, who works with the people [who’ve paid me], says you’re disturbing them,” said the alleged hitman.
“Your boss is eating with these people. There are cases around certain tenders that you’re busy investigating, and, my sister, I was supposed to kill you a long time ago.”
Following the call, Mmushi went into hiding, hired her own private security, and installed surveillance cameras in her home.
“I’m currently putting my life back together, but it’s not easy — especially after having put myself out there, thinking that someone would step in and put a stop to the victimisation to which I’ve been subjected,” said Mmushi.
“I felt a lot of relief when I first went public about this matter because, if anything were to happen to me, everything’s in the public domain.”
“However, although going public is meant to guarantee any whistleblower immediate protection, that hasn’t happened with me.”
“In my case, the same person who took a contract out on me is still there — and so is the paid hitman,” said Mmushi.
In August, Hawks head Godfrey Lebeya said Mmushi had been receiving threats since February 2023 and indirectly confirmed that her allegations appeared credible.
“I had a meeting with the complainant in this matter. She came to our offices in March … it would appear that the threats were there already in February,” he said.
“We have got to focus on what she is saying.”
“On the 26th of July, she [Mmushi] brought to my attention the allegation of a hit on her. We are working on that one. We advised that she register a case, which she agreed to.”
Lebeya also said the hitman had requested money from Mmushi not to kill her.
“There are allegations that someone is purporting to have received money to hit her, and this person needs money from her to not hit her,” Lebeya said.
Lebeya would not confirm whether Mmushi had been offered any protection — as per the laws relating to the witness protection programme.