South Africa: Occupational Detriment 101

What Occupational Detriment really looks like for a Whistleblower and the Costs.

The Protected Disclosures Act (PDA) protects an Employee or Worker (including an independent contractor, consultant or agent) against Occupational Detriment on account of having made a Protected Disclosure. 

Below, the #OccupationalDetriment101 series provides a list of categories of Occupational Detriment suffered by whistleblowers.  

However, the PDA does not envisage the level of retaliation outside of the workplace and the legal and costly entanglement whistleblowers may find themselves in.  Non-listed retaliation against whistleblowers include: 

  • Criminal charges which may or may not be related to the protected disclosure such as fraud/theft/money laundering. 
  • Claims for defamation as a result of the disclosure: urgent interdicts and damages claims;
  • Anton Pillar orders: permitting the inspection of the whistleblower’s house or other related property and search and seizure of materials and documents including that of anyone present on the property.  
  • Claims for damages which may or may not be related to the protected disclosure such as damages relating to fraud or negligence in the performance of duties.  
  • Claims for a delinquent director if the whistleblower was a registered director of the entity.  
  • Withholding the whistleblower’s pension fund payout: The Employer will lay criminal and/or civil claims and inform the pension fund to withhold the payout of the pension pending finalisation of these matters.  

Rapporteur: Chantelle de Sousa, Attorney

PPLAAF is a non-governmental organisation established in 2017 to protect whistleblowers, as well as to advocate and engage in strategic litigation on their behalf when their revelations deal with the general interests of African citizens.

For more information on PPLAAF, please visit:

PPLAAF’s website: 


Twitter: @pplaaf


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