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‘No one is going to get away with this’ – state security minister on SSA report

By News24 11 March 2019
Caption
State Security Minister David Mahlobo is seen in conversation with President Jacob Zuma at the final session of the ANC’s National Policy Conference which was held at the Nasrec Expo Centre in Johannesburg. Picture: IHSAAN HAFFEJEE

State Security Minister Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba has assured South Africans that nobody implicated in the report on the State Security Agency (SSA) - which reveals gross abuses of power to fight factional battles during former president Jacob Zuma's administration - will "get away" with it.

“As the report says, everybody who was involved in wrongdoing must be accountable. We are going to bring all the documents in the report and hand it over to the law enforcement agencies.

“I assure you that no one is going to get away with this,” Letsatsi-Duba said on the 702 breakfast show on Monday morning.

She was responding to the findings of a high-level review panel report on the SSA, which revealed that, not only was the SSA repurposed to serve Zuma’s interests, but was also set up irregularly in terms of the Constitution, which requires intelligence structures to be set up through legislative changes and not presidential proclamations, News 24 earlier reported.

The panel, which was led by Sydney Mufamadi, handed its report to Ramaphosa in December, and a summarised version was released on Saturday by the Presidency.

Although no one is named in the report, these events occurred on the watch of former ministers David Mahlobo and Siyabonga Cwele.

Mahlobo still serves as an ANC MP and Cwele is currently the minister of home affairs.

“In the report, there are no names mentioned, but if the investigation points in that way, they have to account,” Letsatsi-Duba said.

The report also implicated recalled ambassador to Japan Thulani Dlomo, who was appointed as the head of Special Operations (SO) at the agency in 2012, and reported directly to Zuma.

“It is clear from the above information and other information available to the panel that SO had largely become a parallel intelligence structure serving a faction of the ruling party and, in particular, the personal political interests of the sitting president of the party and country.

‘It is not acceptable’

“This is in direct breach of the Constitution, the White Paper, the relevant legislation and plain good government intelligence functioning,” the panel said.

Letsatsi-Duba, in her 702 interview, insisted that the decision to recall Dlomo was at the discretion of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, and that action would be taken following an investigation and a handing over of documents to law enforcement agencies.

“It is not acceptable, and this is an unfortunate situation that people were monitored illegally.

“As I indicated, everyone who did illegal interceptions will be held accountable and law enforcement will take it further,” she reiterated.

Zuma took to Twitter on Sunday night to rubbish members of panel, accusing two members of the committee of being “apartheid spies”.

“I’ve never sold out nor written letters to the SB. I feel nothing when Apartheid spies call me corrupt. I hope people are not opening a can of worms which they might regret,” Zuma said in the tweet. DM

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