File photo: Al Jazeera screengrab.
File photo: Al Jazeera screengrab.

SSA report leaves some ministers, senior officials sweating

By Siyabonga Mkhwanazi Time of article published Mar 17, 2019

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The future of ministers and senior officials implicated in wrongdoing in the intelligence report hangs in the balance with President Cyril Ramaphosa still deciding on their fate after damning findings into their activities.

This comes after the Hawks also said they were waiting for relevant bodies to refer the matter to them on what went on in the State Security Agency over the past decade.

More senior politicians and unionists also came out strongly against another affidavit, deposed last June by a former SSA operative, that they spied on certain politicians and leaders in society during a certain period.

Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Khusela Diko said the president has not yet taken a decision on what will happen to those who are implicated.

This is after the report implicated Home Affairs Minister Siyabonga Cwele, who was a former minister of state security, and another ex-spy boss Arthur Fraser.

Fraser is now National Commissioner of Correctional Services after he was removed by Ramaphosa from the SSA last year after a fight with Inspector-General of Intelligence Setlhomamaru Dintwe.

Cwele and ex-minister David Mahlobo said they were not implicated in the report, but supported the work done by the panel and the report.

The report made recommendations of criminal prosecution and disciplinary action.

“The president has gone through the recommendations, and he is applying his mind as to how he will implement the recommendations of the report,” said Diko.

Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi said they were waiting for a body responsible to lodge a complaint to investigate.

“We cannot speculate at the moment until we receive a request from a competent body to pursue investigations based on those recommendations,” said Mulaudzi.

Meanwhile, SACP, Cosatu and ANC leaders who were spied on said they had always suspected this was happening to them.

This was after an affidavit emerged of a former SSA agent detailing the work they were doing in spying on several politicians and unionists.

The SACP’s first deputy general-secretary, Solly Mapaila, said he was not surprised he was spied on.

He said they raised these things with the Tripartite Alliance and former president Jacob Zuma, but there was no follow up.

They also went to the SSA, and it asked them how they knew they were being spied on.

“We went to the Inspector-General of Intelligence to lay the complaint officially, which report we have not received. (The Inspector-General) was flat-footed because they took away his security clearance,” said Mapaila.

This had delayed the finalisation of the report, he said.

He said they want to use part of the report by the Inspector-General as part of their submission to the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into state capture.

Another union leader who was spied on is Cosatu general-secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali who was also not surprised he was spied on.

“The question is what was I being spied on for?. Or is it for political battles within the movement? Then we will be worried. As long as there are people fighting for their own space, they will do these things,” said Ntshalintshali.

ANC head of organising Senzo Mchunu said he was also not surprised he was spied on.

“I just take it as a confirmation as I was told about it and confirming my suspicion that I was spied on. What it tells us is that state apparatus and SSA had veered off line,” said Mchunu.

Sunday Independent

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