Johannesburg - Reports regarding leaked spy cables, allegedly involving South African intelligence agencies, were a concern, Parliament's Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence (JSCI) said on Tuesday.
The committee remained concerned about maintaining national security, and assured that it would execute its mandate with this uppermost in its mind, chairwoman Connie September said in a statement.
“The JSCI's programme lends itself to dealing with matters of this nature, and that the JSCI would enforce its legal mandate to initiate an investigation and call all relevant people to account.”
Earlier, Democratic Alliance MP David Maynier said the JSCI must be briefed about the so-called “Spy Cables” revelations.
Maynier said in a statement he had written to September asking for an urgent briefing on the Spy Cables.
“Al Jazeera's investigative unit is in possession of a number of classified documents from intelligence services around the world, including the State Security Agency (SSA),” he said.
SSA spokesman Brian Dube said the agency would release a media statement later on Tuesday.
Maynier said the classified documents now in the public domain included two reports, classified secret. One of them was entitled “Operational Target Analysis of Iran”, dated January 2010, and the other “Iranian Intelligence Activities in Africa”, dated October 2012.
“These documents provide the first insights we have into the 'inner workings' of the State Security Agency,” Maynier said.
“We have never come this close to seeing inside the bottom-drawers of the State Security Agency.”
It was imperative the committee be briefed on the likely scope, origins and impact of the expose and whether it would likely reveal any wrongdoing by the SSA.
Al Jazeera reported on its website that the SSA allegedly spied on Iran. According to the report, Al Jazeera had documents - mainly exchanges between the SSA and its counterparts around the world - showing South Africa was monitoring Iranian agents.
Al Jazeera stated South African intelligence agents reported that the Iranians were interested in technology used for satellite interception, online surveillance, and hacking.
South African security services were concerned at Iran's efforts to use official and unofficial channels in South Africa to beat Western-imposed sanctions, Al Jazeera reported.
Al Jazeera had a copy of the 128-page report “Operational Target Analysis”, written by South African spies and which profiled dozens of alleged Iranian operatives.
According to the report, British agents monitored Iran's activities in South Africa.
The agents profiled a number of carpet shops, publishers and other small businesses they believed had links to Iran's intelligence agencies.
According to a separate report on Al Jazeera's website, the United States' CIA was desperate to make contact with Hamas in Gaza in 2012 and asked South Africa for help.
Al Jazeera reported that the US listed Hamas as a terrorist organisation and had no contact with the group officially.
Classified South African documents also revealed that Israel's then-secret service chief, Meir Dagan, sought Pretoria's help in its efforts to scupper a probe into alleged war crimes in Gaza.
The probe was headed by South African judge Richard Goldstone.