Disband State Security Agency, DA demands in wake of shock claims made at Zondo commission
Johannesburg - Following Monday’s shocking revelations before the Zondo Commission regarding allegations of abuse of funds and deviating from constitutional mandates by the State Security Agency (SSA), the DA says the best solution would be to simply disband the agency entirely.
The DA’s state security spokesperson, Dianne Kohler Barnard, made this call after former minister Sydney Mufamadi laid bare how the agency deviated from its constitutional mandate ‒among other transgressions. Mufamadi was the chair of a high-level review panel probing the affairs of the agency and came out with a gloomy report.
Among the revelations was that the agency was a piggy bank for corrupt operatives, politicians and their civilian proxies; deviated from protecting the state from domestic and foreign harm; and was involved in fighting ANC internal factional battles.
With all this now laid bare for the public, Kohler Barnard said it’s time for the establishment of a new, independent, efficient and transparent state security agency.
“There is no possibility of saving the SSA in its current format. Those nameless, faceless officials who were put in place, are still there, and may well still be looting at levels never before seen in South Africa.
“The high-level report was released in March 2019 and after the fanfare, and a flurry of media interest, nothing. No arrests followed. Here we are two years later, and still no arrests and not a cent recovered,” Kohler Barnard said.
It was worrying that while Mufamadi’s panel “gave a detailed account of how to rearrange the deck chairs”, nothing has been done, she said.
“Not a cent has been recovered, not a single arrest made, and not a single soul jailed. Indeed, it has been business as usual, year after year, with the odd bout of musical chairs played by various new ministers.”
Immediately after the revelations on Monday, the EFF called for the prosecution of all those implicated in wrongdoing.
Senior IFP Member of Parliament, Narend Singh, said the revelations were shocking and the party would demand answers. “Alarming (the revelations), to say the least. When we go back to Parliament we will demand answers. Well, the Zondo Commission is already demanding accountability and we will add to that,” he said.
The chairperson of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, Mkhuleko Hlengwa, said as a committee they had no mandate over SSA as it falls under the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence which is made up of ANC, DA and EFF MPs.
The latter committee is chaired by ANC MP, Jerome Maake, who is yet to respond to queries regarding why they failed to rein in the agency which falls under them.