Kasrils welcomes decision to do away with intelligence ministry
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FORMER minister of intelligence Ronnie Kasrils weighed in on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to do away with the intelligence ministry, saying it is a good move.
Kasrils was the minister during Thabo Mbeki’s tenure as president.
Speaking in a television programme, Kasrils said the country received poor service from those who were in charge of State Security Agency (SSA).
This came after violent protests and unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng which left over 300 people dead and caused damage to the economy last month.
“I think the centralisation of SSA was a good move, it was necessary. It is in-keeping with general so-called best general practice internationally.
“Those who are criticising the move need to look at the international situation, there are very few countries in the world; I can count Iran, Israel perhaps where you have an intelligence minister who is in charge of intelligence then reports to the president,” Kasrils said.
He said the receipt of information timeously within the presidency was important.
“He is bringing the country into the mainstream of practice internationally with this move, it is more efficient. It means that the full control of the intelligence director-general in the intelligence agencies is with the president. Most important of all is the information flow, the full warning which is what the intelligence is all about gets through to the president quickly and on time.
“We have seen in relation to the chaos from the second week of July that the president was not warned. The information went to the security cluster and all the problems there resulted in ministers bickering, saying they didn't receive the information, contradicting each other, that nothing got through to the president.
“People are alarmed at what happened, the president is in charge of security for our country. If he had received that information in time, clearly, he would have ensured that police would have mobilised and were ready to deal with all the eventualities.
“So this is the right move. I totally support the process, I salute the president for taking this decision at long last,” said Kasrils.
Ramaphosa on Thursday announced that he had appointed a panel of experts – consisting of Professor Sandy Africa, Silumko Sokupa and Advocate Mojanku Gumbi – to probe the recent violence.