A former top spy at the State Security Agency (SSA), Thulani Dhlomo, denied any involvement in instigating ongoing unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng and threatened to hit Deputy Minister of State Security Zizi Kodwa with a lawsuit.
Coming out days after fingers were pointed at him for allegedly being one of the 12 people allegedly behind the ongoing unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng that left 212 people dead.
Dhlomo whose last known whereabouts by Independent Media in November 2019 was Durban, said any attempts to link him to the unrest is a major deflection of the real issues that sparked them.
After days of trying to speak to him, yesterday he sent Independent Media a statement stating his side of the story, even making claims that unnamed state officials were trying to recruit him to help suppress the unrest.
“Notwithstanding these defamatory and malicious statements by Kodwa, I have been contacted by senior members of the government seeking my help and assistance to address the current difficulties, especially in KwaZulu-Natal.
“I have indicated to senior members of the government that I am more than willing to assist. It is in our country’s interest to have stability and to protect the lives of innocent people and communities,” Dlomo says.
He said he was taken aback when the news surfaced and instructed his lawyers to write to Kodwa, seeking clarification and evidence.
“I reject with the contempt that it deserves, any attempt to link me to the unrest happening in the country.
“This is but a smokescreen to deflect from legitimate concerns about the arrest of former president Jacob Zuma and the frustration due to poverty of the communities and people.
“Instead of trying to blame instigators, as was done during the apartheid years, the government should focus on addressing the core issues that are well-known to them,” Dlomo says.
“I am currently engaging with senior members of the government to help them better understand the issues.
“Why would senior members of the government meet me and contact me to help them if I am supposedly a so-called instigator?” Dlomo says.
Furthermore, he blamed some media outlets for running articles about him and using a picture of him in Zulu regalia as an attempt to fuel the perception of “ethnic mobilisation”.
“I am shown in a photograph dressed in Zulu attire in an attempt to support this propaganda of ethnic mobilisation.
“I am continuously referred to as Zuma’s spy.
“The facts are that I served my country for more than two decades in the security services, and most recently as ambassador to Japan.
“I do not serve any individual.
“I serve my country, and I continue to engage with senior members of the government to serve my country today.
“I do not know of any 12 so-called instigators, and this is simply a smokescreen and a figment of the imagination of people such as Kodwa,” he says.
Going for Kodwa’s throat, Dlomo said he must produce evidence that Dlomo is behind the violence or withdraw the remarks.
“I challenge Kodwa or any other person to bring proof of any instigators and any proof that I have been involved in any such instigation of unrest.
“Instead, by spewing your wild propaganda, you have placed my life and the lives of my family at risk.
“I am calling upon Kodwa to withdraw his statement and to stop peddling lies about me, failing which I will instruct my attorneys for a claim of significant damages against him personally.
“Kodwa should, instead, account for his corruption to the prosecution and criminal authorities in the country and not try and deflect the genuine concerns of people onto imaginary instigators,” he says.
Responding to Dhlomo’s claims, Kodwa said: "I deny and reject these allegations.
“I maintain that there are instigators who planned and co-ordinated the recent destruction and economic sabotage.”
The war of words between Dhlomo and Kodwa comes as yesterday, while touring the ravaged Bridge City mall in KwaMashu north of Durban, President Cyril Ramaphosa vowed the authorities would search for all those who instigated the unrests.