A senior government source told News24 that the minister removed her adviser two weeks ago, ostensibly over alleged irregularities related to a trip to Europe but the same source explained Letsatsi-Duba had grown increasingly suspicious about Njenje’s political allegiances.
Njenje told News24 on Friday: “I am not going to deny that, but I am not going to comment any further.”
Njenje, the former head of domestic intelligence for the State Security Agency (SSA), became adviser to Letsatsi-Duba in February 2018.
His role was widely seen as being part of efforts to clean up the intelligence agency, although this interference has also irritated some of his enemies – some who remain employed by the SSA.
A high level review panel appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa to investigate alleged irregularities at the SSA recommended sweeping changes to the intelligence structures earlier this year. In that report, the panel said the intelligence agency was being used in political factional battles, and pointed to instances of alleged financial mismanagement and even criminality. The report was released to the public in March.
During his State of the Nation Address in February this year, Ramaphosa announced he would break the SSA into its two original agencies – foreign and domestic – and the re-establishment of the National Security Council. This was on the basis of the SSA report, he said.
Njenje was seen as a part of these efforts.
On Friday, former spy boss Arthur Fraser responded to the high level panel report, rubbishing much of what the panel found. In that rebuttal, Fraser also said that Njenje began “giving operational instructions to SSA officials” and said he provided “support” to the high level panel.
Njenje, along with two other intelligence heads, Moe Shaik and Jeff Maqetuka were removed in 2011 by then minister Siyabonga Cwele, after raising concerns about the Gupta family.
Njenje also previously served as chairperson to Bosasa, a Krugersdorp facilities management and security company that has been exposed for paying bribes for tenders for nearly two decades. Bosasa also has strong links to the ruling ANC party and News24 previously revealed the company donated millions to ANC election campaigns.
A spokesperson for Letsatsi-Duba was not immediately available to comment. This story will be updated when a response is forthcoming.
Want to watch Richard Poplak’s audition for SA’s Got Talent?
Who doesn’t? Alas, it was removed by the host site for prolific swearing*... Now that we’ve got your attention, we thought we’d take the opportunity to talk to you about the small matter of book burning and freedom of speech.
Since its release, Pieter-Louis Myburgh’s book Gangster State, has sparked numerous fascist-like behavior from certain members of the public (and the State). There have been planned book burnings, disrupted launches and Ace Magashule has openly called him a liar. And just to say thanks, a R10m defamation suit has been lodged against the author.
Pieter-Louis Myburgh is our latest Scorpio Investigative journalist recruit and we’re not going to let him and his crucial book be silenced. When the Cape Town launch was postponed, Maverick Insider stepped in and relocated it to a secure location so that Pieter-Louis’ revelations could be heard by the public. If we’ve learnt one thing over the past ten years it is this: when anyone tries to infringe on our constitutional rights, we have to fight back. Every day, our journalists are uncovering more details and evidence of State Capture and its various reincarnations. The rot is deep and the threats, like this recent one to freedom of speech, are real. You can support the cause by becoming an Insider and help free the speech that can make a difference.
*No video of Richard Poplak auditioning for SA’s Got Talent actually exists. Unless it does and we don’t know about it please send it through.
Magenta has no physical wavelength. It thus does not "exist" strictly speaking. Rather our brains are telling us that we are seeing "not green".