Deputy President Cyril Ramaphos File picture: Mike Hutchings/Reuters
Johannesburg  - A rogue intelligence report calling for a “surveillance operation” on Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s campaign to become head of state has surfaced, hot on the heels of failed attempts to remove President Jacob Zuma.

The poorly worded three-page document, which The Star has seen, calls for a budget of R1.5 million to, among other things, conduct surveillance on those described as running Ramaphosa’s campaign to become the next president.

The surveillance is aimed at establishing how Ramaphosa’s campaign is funded, and seeks to look into state-owned enterprises.

Those targeted include, among others, Ramaphosa’s political adviser Steyn Speed, ANC head of economic policy Enoch Godongwana, Behaviour Change Agency founder Pat Govender and former National Prosecuting Authority chief executive Marion Sparg.

Sparg is a former Umkhonto weSizwe guerrilla who wrote a letter to Zuma in 2014 and called on him to resign over the Nkandla security upgrades scandal.

ANC national executive committee member Philly Mapulane is said to be the chairperson of Ramaphosa’s campaign.

The dubious report says the surveillance operation has to be “highly confidential”, recommends that the investigation be concluded “swiftly by October” and says a total budget of R1.5m was required.

“Further investigations by the following State Security Agencies, SARS/FIC (Financial Intelligence Centre) and departments must zero in on the campaign kingpin Marion Sparg. Furthermore we request to obtain permission to embark on a surveillance operation around Sparg, as she will lead us further.”

Marion Sparg is named in the rogue intelligence report. Picture: Supplied

Godongwana dismissed the report as part of a dirty tricks campaign ahead of the ANC elective conference in December,

Zuma wants former AU Commission chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma to succeed him.

Mapulane denied that he was the chairperson of Ramaphosa’s bid for the presidency.

“I, however, associate myself with and support the perspective in our organisation that argues that the deputy president of the ANC, Comrade Cyril Ramaphosa, must ascend to the position of president of the ANC at our 54th national conference in December 2017,” he said.

“Contrary to what some in our organisation conveniently argue, ever since the position of deputy president was created, history and tradition has always dictated that the deputy president succeeds the president.”

Mapulane, who is also chairperson of Parliament’s portfolio committee on environmental affairs, decried the use of state resources to target political opponents, saying the practice had started before the ANC conference in Polokwane.

“Those of our comrades who are in charge of this institution must be warned never to allow this treasonous practice to happen within their portfolios, as seems to be the case with this rogue intelligence report.”

When contacted for comment, Speed said: “I am the political adviser to the deputy president of the country; as such, I have no mandate to provide comment to the media on political matters, either on or off the record.”

Govender said he had not seen the report. “I have not seen any such report. I certainly am not spearheading the campaign for Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to become the next president.”

State Security Minister David Mahlobo’s spokesperson Brian Dube dismissed the report as rubbish. “This poorly worded document, (which is) full of grammatical errors, could have been written by anyone.”

Sparg could not be reached for comment.

The report comes a few days after Zuma narrowly escaped a vote of no-confidence against him, which was conducted through a secret ballot, in the National Assembly.

Of 384 MPs who voted, 177 wanted Zuma to go, while 198 rejected the motion. Nine MPs abstained.

The opposition parties hold 151 seats in the National Assembly.

This means as many as 35 ANC MPs voted with their conscience, marking the first time in the history of the country’s democracy that ANC legislators voted with the opposition for the removal of their sitting president.

The dubious report mirrors the one allegedly used by Zuma to fire Pravin Gordhan and Mcebisi Jonas as finance minister and deputy respectively.

The so-called intelligence report, which was also ridden with grammatical errors, alleged that the pair had planned to use their European and American tour to mobilise the markets against the South African government.

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said at the time that Zuma had told them that he used the intelligence report to fire Gordhan. But the president later denied he had based his decision to fire Gordhan and Jonas on the questionable report.

The Star