THE Commission of Inquiry into State Capture has heard how a project established to guard former president Jacob Zuma’s aircraft saw millions of rand redirected from the State Security Agency’s (SSA’s) legitimate operations.
“Ms K”, an unidentified witness giving evidence at a secret location, on Thursday told the commission the project saw the SSA incur unplanned expenditure of R1.5 million a month.
The witness, who is the project manager of “Project Veza”, a probe into malfeasance at the SSA, is corroborating the evidence of another of the agency’s officials, identified as Mr Y, who was scheduled to testify this week but could not because he is indisposed after recently coming out of a coma.
According to the evidence presented, the project to ensure the safety of Zuma’s presidential aircraft took up 40% of the chief directorate for internal security’s budget of R48m and R38m in the 2015/16 and 2016/17 financial years, respectively.
”This means that almost 40% of the chief directorate for internal security’s budget was redirected from other operational activities in order to meet the requirements of this project for the alleged protection of the presidential aircraft,” the commission heard.
Ms K said the chief directorate for internal security during the tenure of its former boss only identified as Johan was weakened and the integrity of its vetting processes was eroded.
The directorate’s members had illegal access to firearms, were involved in transportation of cash for operations and involved in a parallel vetting structure.
Ms K said the directorate’s members were also implicated in the robbery of R17m in cash at the SSA’s headquarters, Musanda complex in Tshwane, in December 2015.
She said the theft of millions was confirmed by a senior official in the directorate.
The commission has previously heard that the project to guard the presidential aircraft was initiated after it allegedly emerged that pilots and crew members were bringing in unauthorised individuals to sleep in the plane.
Ms K continues giving evidence.