Parliament - State Security Minister Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba on Wednesday told Members of Parliament (MPs) it was not her department's job to search for the fugitive Gupta brothers or their business partner, Duduzane Zuma, the former president's son.
Replying to a question in the National Assembly on what role the State Security Agency (SSA) played in ensuring "the Gupta brothers and Duduzane Zuma do not leave the country after the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation [DPCI known as the Hawks] had already taken steps to arrest them", Letsatsi-Duba cited secrecy provisions in the National Strategic Intelligence Act.
"The information relating to the operations of the SSA are classified, privileged information. It should be however noted that the State Security Agency is held accountable on such matters by the joint standing committee on intelligence," she said.
When an MP put it to her that the country's intelligence service was complicit in helping the Guptas and Duduzane Zuma flee the country, she said SSA's job was to collect information and pass it onto authorities to take action.
"Within us as SSA we cannot go around at borders to check if Duduzane has left the country or not. That responsibility is with immigration and other officials."
The Hawks has issued a warrant of arrest for Ajay Gupta, who is believed to be on the run from authorities but has not announced any warrants of arrest for Zuma and the other Gupta brothers, who are allegedly involved in businesses which siphoned billions of rand out of South Africa after scoring lucrative State contracts.
The whereabouts of Zuma and the Guptas are not known.
African News Agency/ANA