President Cyril Ramaphosa has officially re-established the National Security Council (NSC) which will be responsible for ensuring national security. File picture: Reuters/Sumaya Hisham
President Cyril Ramaphosa has officially re-established the National Security Council (NSC) which will be responsible for ensuring national security. File picture: Reuters/Sumaya Hisham

President Cyril Ramaphosa re-establishes security body

By Loyiso Sidimba Time of article published Mar 11, 2020

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Cape Town - President Cyril Ramaphosa has officially re-established the National Security Council (NSC) which will be responsible for ensuring national security.

Ramaphosa will chair the NSC and it will include his deputy David Mabuza, minister of Defence and Military veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, minister of State Security Ayanda Dlodlo, minister of Police Bheki Cele, International Relations and cooperation Minister Dr. Naledi Pandor and Home Affairs minister Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi.

Other members of the NSC will include Finance Minister Tito Mboweni as well as his Justice and Correctional services and cooperative governance and traditional affairs counterparts, Ronald Lamola and Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, respectively.

In a notice published in the Government Gazette on Tuesday, Ramaphosa indicated that he may co-opt any other minister on an ad hoc basis as the need arises.

Ramaphosa explained that the re-establishment of the NSC was done in terms of the section of the Constitution dealing with executive decisions and which states that a decision by the president must be in writing if it is taken in terms of legislation or has legal consequences.

The president also announced the establishment of the SA National Security Secretariat to support the NSC.

The secretariat will be headed by Presidency director-general Dr. Cassius Lubisi, who will also be the NSC’s secretary, and will include Ramaphosa’s security advisor as an ex officio member, co-ordinator for intelligence and the State Security Agency director-general but it has been indicated that in future it will have the heads of the domestic and foreign branches of intelligence.

The directors-general of International Relations and cooperation, Home Affairs, Justice and Constitutional development, cooperative governance, national treasury will be joined by the chief of the SA National Defence Force and secretary for defence as members of the secretariat.

The NSC will be responsible for the approval of the National Security Strategy, the National Intelligence Estimate and National Intelligence Priorities and the coordination of the work of security services, law enforcement agencies and relevant organs of state to ensure national security.

It will also receive co-ordinated, integrated intelligence assessments from the national security structure and mandating such structures to attend to matters of national security as required.

In his state of the nation address in February last year, Ramaphosa revealed that the re-establishment of the NSC was part of the steps to be taken to reconstitute a professional national intelligence capability.

At the time, he said the move was to ensure better coordination of the intelligence and security-related functions of the state as well as the re-establishment of two arms of our intelligence service, one focusing on domestic and the other on foreign intelligence.

The NSC’s re-establishment was part of the recommendations of the High Level Review Panel on the State Security Agency chaired by former Cabinet minister Dr. Sydney Mufamadi.

Ramaphosa’s Cabinet approved the re-establishment of the NSC in December last year.

Political Bureau

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