President Cyril Ramaphosa File picture: GCIS

Cape Town - President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed a panel, headed by former Mbeki-era police minister Sydney Mufamadi, to consider the mandate and running of the State Security Agency, his office said on Friday.

"President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed a high-level review panel to assess the mandate, capacity and organisational integrity of the State Security Agency (SSA)."

The president has also appointed former defence minister Charles Nqakula as his security advisor, his office said.

Ramaphosa signalled his intention to appoint a review panel last month and has given it three months to complete its work.

Other panel members include Barry Gilder, a former senior figure in intelligence structures and director-general of home affairs, journalism lecturer Jane Duncan, academic Sibusiso Vil-Nkomo, lawyer Basetsana Molebatsi and political scientist Anthoni van Nieuwkerk.

"President Ramaphosa has said that the panel must seek to identify all material factors that allowed for some of the current challenges within the agency so that appropriate measures are instituted to prevent a recurrence," the presidency said. 

"The main objective of the review panel is to assist in ensuring a responsible and accountable national intelligence capability for the country in line with the Constitution and relevant legislation."

The intelligence agency is widely considered to have been used by former president Jacob Zuma to protect his position and contain political foes.

African News Agency/ANA