Durban - MPs have warned the new inspector- general of intelligence, Sethlomamaru Isaac Dintwe, not to become entangled in ANC factional battles and allow the use of intelligence services to settle political scores.
This followed the resounding support Dintwe received in Parliament yesterday as the new spy boss.
Dintwe’s appointment required a two-thirds majority of 266 MPs out of 400 members of the House.
A total of 299 MPs backed his appointment with 14 objections and there were no abstentions.
This was a contrast with previous candidate Cecil Burgess, a former ANC MP, whose appointment failed three times because opposition parties rejected his appointment.
Chairman of the standing committee on intelligence Charles Nqakula said the appointment was supported by all parties.
But the EFF said on Tuesday it did not support Dintwe and had serious reservations about him.
EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said the intelligence agencies had been used to fight factional battles in the ANC since President Jacob Zuma took office in 2009. The country was ravaged by crime but the intelligence agencies had not done anything to fight it.
“The EFF does not trust this candidate. We do not trust him because of the way the ANC went about lobbying for him,” said Ndlozi.
But other parties said that despite supporting Dintwe’s appointment they cautioned him against the factions in the ruling party.
They urged him to stay away from these battles. UDM chief whip Nqabayomzi Nkwankwa said they wanted Dintwe to draw a line between his office and the ruling party.
He said while they welcomed the appointment they wanted to warn Dintwe him against the use of intelligence agencies to settle political scores.
ACDP leader Kenneth Meshoe said the position of inspector-general of intelligence was a crucial one that did not need a person who would to do someone’s bidding.
DA chief whip John Steenhuisen said the fact that the position of inspector-general of intelligence had been vacant for 18 months was an indictment of Parliament.
The DA supported Dintwe because he was untainted by any links to the ANC.
Steenhuisen said the DA would urgently lodge a complaint with Dintwe on a covert project known as Principal Agent Network in 2007, to improve the capacity of the intelligence agencies.
The agents were accused of splurging R1 billion on the project to buy farms, houses and cars.
Steenhuisen said this would be the first order of business for Dintwe when he assumed office.