Cape Town - The Democratic Alliance will refer allegations of unlawful interference and acts of intimidation in police operations to the Inspector General of Intelligence (IGI) for possible investigation, the party said on Sunday.
"The DA notes with concern the revelation of continued interference in police operations by suspended heads of SAPS [South African Police Service], crime intelligence, and Hawks through an alleged clandestine intelligence operation called ‘Project Wonder’," DA spokesman Zakhele Mbhele said.
The reported participation of operatives in these agencies in this project, specifically the illegal monitoring of cabinet ministers and their support staff, diverted attention away from the real task of fighting crime and showed how the chickens were coming home to roost after years of political interference and capture of the police service.
The DA would therefore refer this alleged unlawful interference and acts of intimidation to the IGI, he said.
"Berning Ntlemeza, Richard Mdluli, and Khomotso Phahlane are currently on suspension for various alleged offences committed during their tenure, which means they could face further sanction should it be established that they are the ringleaders of ‘Project Wonder’.
"In addition to the referral of the issue to the IGI, the DA will also write to the chairperson of the portfolio committee on police to summon Maj-Gen [King Bhoyi] Ngcobo, as the acting head of crime intelligence (CI), to come and brief parliament on what his division will do to clamp down on rogue CI officers who are suspected of participating in ‘Project Wonder’," Mbhele said.
"We cannot allow stability in our state security institutions to be corrupted by a mafia of rogue elements whose objective has mutated from fighting organised crime to conducting illegal witch-hunts to promote narrow agendas."
Confidence in state security sector was already at an all-time low. It was therefore unacceptable that there were sustained efforts to promote further destabilisation and abuse of state resources, he said.
Organised violent crime in the country was at an all-time high and had been escalating continuously for years. Therefore it was important that SAPS and its crime intelligence structures focused on fulfilling their core objective of fighting crime. Any unrelated undertakings was a betrayal to South Africans who were forced to live their lives in fear because of organised crimes such as robberies, hijackings, and human trafficking.
The DA looked forward to the initiation of an investigation by the IGI into "Project Wonder". Those implicated had to face the full might of the law.
"It is abundantly clear that the only way to ensure that sanity and stability is restored in our state security sector is to remove this corruption-ridden ANC government which has bred such lawlessness.
"In its place we must have a DA-led national government elected that will put the fight against crime firmly back on the agenda under fit-for-purpose leadership whose integrity is beyond reproach," Mbhele said.