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Corruption has been a prevalent phenomenon in South Africa for an extended period, but it was during the presidential reign of Jacob
Zuma that corruption evolved into state capture. South African whistleblowers were instrumental in detailing the breadth and depth of state capture during Zuma’s presidency. Their disclosures brought the epidemic of state capture into the public eye, making citizens aware of the crippling of state-owned enterprises and the brazen looting of state resources. The whistleblowers, however, did not
expect the backlash they would receive from the wrongdoers and their employers. This article presents the experiences of these whistleblowers, emerging from semi-structured interviews conducted with whistleblowers and civil society, as well as document
analysis of relevant sources. The whistleblowers’ disclosure experiences were marred by various forms of retaliation: work-related retaliation; social retaliation; physical retaliation; and a form of retaliation identified from the narratives of South African state capture
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