ANC MP Bongani Bongo. File photo: GCIS.
ANC MP Bongani Bongo. File photo: GCIS.

Letter sent to SSA makes sensational claims about media houses, journalists, politicians

By Sihle Mavuso Time of article published Jan 26, 2021

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Durban - A letter sent to Loyiso Jafta, the acting director-general at the State Security Agency (SSA), requesting it to declassify some documents related to intelligence gatherings projects, has not only opened a can of worms, but it also contains sensational claims against several individuals.

Among the people mentioned in the letter are prominent journalists, media houses, companies and politicians.

The request was made to the agency in a letter dated January 23, 2021, by Johannesburg-based law firm Kgoroeadira Mudau Inc, a firm representing Arthur Fraser, Bongani Bongo, Jabulani Maduma, Graham Engel, Prince Makhwathana, Marthie Wallace, Molleen Mnana and Roxane Human.

Some of these individuals have been implicated in the alleged abuse of the state intelligence apparatus by a number of witnesses at the Zondo Commission, among them former minister Sydney Mufamadi, who started his testimony on Monday.

One of the requests is that the agency declassifies and makes available some documents which allege that former director of foreign intelligence, Moe Shaik, authorised a project that established a business news station (currently hosted on a DStv platform) and staffed it with agents.

“Copies of all the documents related to a project initiated by Amb(assador) Moe Shaik for the funding, establishment, capacitating of ... (a business news network) and the secondment of SSA members to it and which members remain on SSA’s payroll despite not being engaged for over 10 years; agreement of ... (the channel) between the then South African Secret Service (SASS) or its successor, the SSA, and Mr. ... ; These members remain at home. In particular, our clients request a copy of the funding,” reads the request.

Efforts to offer the business news channel an opportunity to comment on the allegations failed as no one was put forward to comment before this report was published.

The same letter makes sensational claims that one of the country’s controversial television presenters edited a news portal which was allegedly a front for the SSA.

“Copies of all documents related to a project initiated by Shaik which resulted in the funding for the purchase from the founder and editor … of the then failing online publication… and the appointment of.. as its editor for South Africa and the inclusion of … as its shareholders,” reads the request.

In response to these claims, Shaik said the request was treasonous and aimed at destroying the capability of the state to gather intelligence.

“I find this request for information despicable, to say the least. None of this requested information relates to the terms of the (Zondo) commission. I find this a scorched earth approach which is aimed at destroying whatever the intelligence capacity that may exist in our state.

“This is treasonable and I wish and I appeal to authorities to treat it as such,” Shaik told Independent Media.

The fingered journalist, who is also a former radio talk show host, did not comment when asked about the allegations contained in the letter.

The letter also requests information which led to a fake intelligence report alleging that Professor Thuli Madonsela, EFF leader Julius Malema and Joseph Mathunjwa of mining union Amcu were agents and members of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the United States of America.

“The report was used to demote an operative (who cannot be named until he is located) who had been promoted to the position of deputy director-general in the agency.

““ copy of Mr …. assessment that determined and confirmed that he was unfit to hold the position of General Manager, let alone Deputy Director-General; … A copy of all the documents and reports, including the authorisation, records of all submissions and payments, false documents, travel records including all the related travel itineraries created by …

“In the project masterminded and managed by him that resulted in a report that falsely claimed that Prof Thuli Madonsela, Mr Sello Julius Malema and Mr Joseph Mathunjwa were agents and/or members of the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States of America. To this end, we kindly request that you also provide us with a copy of Prof Madonsela’s false CIA membership or appointment card manufactured by ...”

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