Media reports on Sunday said that new acting national police commissioner Lt-Gen Lesetja Mothiba had agreed to set up a covert crime intelligence unit to identify and spy on anti-President Jacob Zuma individuals and organisations. Picture: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS
Cape Town – Media reports on Sunday that a police crime intelligence unit is to be set up to identify and spy on "anti-Zuma" individuals and organisations are cause for deep concern and need to be investigated, the Democratic Alliance said.

The DA would write to parliament's police portfolio committee chairman Francois Beukman to request that he summon new acting national police commissioner Lt-Gen Lesetja Mothiba following reports that Mothiba agreed to set up a covert crime intelligence unit to identify and spy on anti-President Jacob Zuma individuals and organisations, DA spokesman Zakhele Mbhele said on Sunday.

Reports on Sunday indicated that at a meeting between Mothiba, the Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans’ Association (MKMVA), and other intelligence operatives on June 2, it was discussed that Zuma was "under attack" and the decision was taken that crime intelligence would gather covert intelligence that would “assist in the build-up to the ANC’s December elective conference”, he said.

"These reports are cause for deep concern and must be fully investigated by the committee as they could constitute a serious violation of this division’s mandate for purely political reasons. It is highly inappropriate for the head of the police service to meet with politically partisan bodies for such narrow ends.

"The crime intelligence division was responsible for gathering vital information to pre-empt crimes, especially by organised criminal syndicates, before they happened, a core function they were failing at. The rising trend over many years in trio crimes – carjackings, home robberies, and business robberies – was clear evidence of this failure and was the reason for increasing numbers of South Africans not feeling safe in the streets and in their homes.

"Should these reports prove true it will become abundantly clear that this vital division is failing at its core mandate because they are more focused on protecting Zuma and his cronies rather than South Africans," Mbhele said.

Those who would be targeted included members of the media, opposition parties, and the non-governmental sector. This continued politicisation of the intelligence sector was yet another example of the Zuma ANC putting the interests of politicians above those of the people, he said.

"This is simply unacceptable. The portfolio committee must get to the bottom of these allegations and should they prove true, the DA will not hesitate to take any and all action to ensure that our crime intelligence division is not abused to protect one man while ordinary citizens are vulnerable to law-breaking thugs that threaten the safety of South Africans with impunity," Mbhele said.