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State Capture report: Ex ministers Mahlobo, Cwele involved themselves in the operations of SSA

Newly sworn-in Minister of State Security David Mahlobo,

Newly sworn-in Minister of State Security David Mahlobo,

Published Jun 22, 2022

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The report into state capture inquiry has implicated former ministers of State Security David Mahlobo and Siyabonga Cwele in interfering in the operations of the State Security Agency (SSA).

This was revealed in part five of the State Capture Inquiry report led by Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

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Four years and over 300 witnesses later, Zondo finally handed over the last part of the report to President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Wednesday night.

Four other parts were handed over to Ramaphosa earlier this year.

The report covers many topics that were investigated including the involvement of ministers in law enforcement agencies.

It was scathing on Cwele and Mahlobo, saying that the duo deliberately involved themselves in the operations of the agency to get their way.

The report said in part: “The creation of the Ministry of State security and the consequent appointment of ‘Minister of State security’ through the 11 September 2009 proclamation, made the SSA to report to a minister, at the time Dr Siyabonga Cwele, who was later followed by Mr David Mahlobo that paved the way for a minister's involvement in the operations of the SSA, and that is exactly what happened. The evidence is overwhelming and both ministers did just that.”

The report continued: “One of the ways in which that happened was when minister Cwele, on the weight of the evidence before the commission by the country's top intelligence chiefs, interfered against the investigation of the Guptas. He said investigating them would amount to investigating former president Jacob Zuma.

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“Minister Mahlobo, on evidence, not only involved himself in the operations but also directed them. He was actively involved in for example projects under project Wave and project Justice. One of his responses during the commission was that the law did not prohibit him from getting involved. What is more worrying is his involvement in the withdrawals, handling and distributing large sums of money, an aspect that is dealt with separately herein.”

In his recommendations Zondo said that ministers should not be involved in the operations of intelligent services.

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