Johannesburg - Public Protector Thuli Madonsela reported the allegations she was a CIA operative herself last week, to the police’s crime intelligence unit, before State Security Minister David Mahlobo made the surprise announcement on Thursday he would be probing the claims against her and prominent political figures.
Madonsela’s spokesman, Oupa Segalwe, said on Friday she had reported the allegations so they could be investigated as a cybercrime.
“In other words, we want the authorities to unmask the criminal behind the claims,” Segalwe said.
This comes after Mahlobo said the State Security Agency, with other departments in the security cluster, would investigate in order to “verify and determine the veracity” of the allegations.
“A Grade 9 pupil could see it is rubbish,” said Madonsela, after the State Security Agency (SSA) issued a statement on Thursday saying it was probing spying claims against her, EFF leader Julius Malema, former DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko and leader of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) Joseph Mathunjwa.
A search following “social media reports alleging the espionage activities” had led the government to the blog africainteligenceleaks.wordpress.com, Mahlobo said.
The blog, authored by an unnamed “board of editors”, makes a number of startling allegations against Madonsela, Malema, Mazibuko and Mathunjwa - claiming they all work for the CIA.
It suggests Madonsela, in her capacity as executive secretary of the African Ombudsman and Mediators Association, gathered information on African heads of state opposed to US interests in order to “discredit them internationally” and that she mentored Mazibuko, helping her to rise in the DA ranks “in spite of her black skin condition”.
It also accuses Malema and Mathunjwa of trying to orchestrate a popular uprising against the government, adding that Malema’s expulsion from the ANC and “from his post at the Parliament” had made him a “perfect candidate” for recruitment.
Malema became an MP last year, after the Marikana massacre of 2012 (wrongly said on the website to have taken place last year) in which the blog alleges he had a hand.
Mahlobo’s decision to take the allegations seriously has been met with derision.
“A grade nine pupil could see it is rubbish,” said Madonsela.
It is an offence to insult the public protector or interfere with her work. Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans’ Association chairman Kebby Maphatsoe had to retract similar claims last year.
US Ambassador Patrick Gaspard replied “we generally disregard rubbish” when asked on Twitter to respond to the blog. The US embassy declined to comment.
Mazibuko tweeted from the US, where she is studying at Harvard University, that the move was embarrassing, while Malema said the intelligence agency was run by “clowns”.
DA spokesman on state security David Maynier wrote to Inspector-General for Intelligence Faith Radebe on Friday, asking her to investigate whether the SSA probe amounted to an abuse of power or transgression of the Constitution and legislation, regulations and policy applicable to the agency.
“The African Inteligence (sic) Leaks blog, which has been used as a pretext for the investigation, appears to be a lunatic fringe blog, dedicated to peddling conspiracy theories, and which cannot even spell ‘intelligence’,” Maynier said.
Malema said: “I have never heard such madness in my life... Those people are clowns. Our biggest problem is that our ‘intelligence’ is not intelligent.”
Mathunjwa, president of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), said it was “rubbish” and a “waste of state resources” to investigate such allegations.
The SSA probe comes after a series of embarrassing incidents involving the agency, including the use of a cellphone signal jammer during the State of the Nation Address.
Source of allegations
The website cited by the State Security Agency as the source of the allegations it was investigating (africainteligenceleaks.wordpress.com) made the following claims, among others:
On Thuli Madonsela
Verbatim: “It calls the attention to those people who are permanent (sic) curious and do research about these topics, not only the fact that the public protector possesses an e-mail address in a CIA domain, but also that she manages to operate the communications from four different e-mail addresses.
“Madonsela is the executive secretary of the African Ombudsman and Mediators Association (AOMA), which gives her a privileged position so that her function as an inspector transcends the limits of her homeland and embraces the continent, where there exists the usual practice of the USA of (sic) gathering information about Presidents of countries that are oppose (sic) to the interests of the US with the objective of discredit (sic) them internationally…”
On Lindiwe Mazibuko
“Thanks to the external support, this young parliament (sic) member, in spite of her black skin condition(sic) has quickly achieved important positions within the main opposition party, DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE (DA), a historically white and apartheid heritage party.
“Her entry to the CIA dark world was possible thanks to the support of her political mentor, the Public Protector Thulisiwe N Madonsela, who helped CIA employee Ilka Rodríguez Díaz in the recruitment process.
Her Langley file showed great capabilities to develop an Arab Spring in its Pretorian (sic) version.
With the purpose to complete her training as an agent and to consolidate her leadership position in the party, Mazibuko left the SA parliament and travelled to Harvard, supposedly to attend post graduate course in public administration, while her main objective was to be trained in ‘The Strategic Application of Nonviolent Action (IGA-388M)’…
On Julius Malema
“Thanks to evidence found trough (sic) investigations, it has been proved (sic) that Malema is a person of doubtful reputation due to his implications with the mob, money laundry (sic), corruption and the wrong use of influences.
He was expelled from the party and from his post at the Parliament, and then became the perfect candidate for Langley to confuse the masses.
From the US, Malema received the mission of heating (sic) the scenario and deceitfully mobilize the naïve who felt (sic) in his trap and encourage the outbursts to lead to an artificial crisis against the ANC’s authority using the same tactics that were proved in countries like Egypt, Brazil and Venezuela, just to mention some of them (sic).
On Joseph Mathunjwa
(A purported e-mail from Mathunjwa to his CIA handlers): “I am Comrade Joseph Mathunjwa the democratically leader (sic) of AMCU and together with one of the youngest political movements in South Africa, the EFF, under leadership of comrade Julius Malema, we plot interested in how OTPOR instrumental was in succeeding in overthrowing the bourgeoisie regime of Slodovan (sic) Milosevic on 05 october 2000 (sic).”
Political Bureau and Sapa