Because much of the information is classified, the minister of state security, Ayanda Dlodlo, has been asked to brief President Cyril Ramaphosa directly, rather than the party’s top leadership.
Intelligence agents have told Daily Maverick that any briefing of the ANC is inappropriate, especially with the history of politicisation of the State Security Agency (SSA) as laid out in chapter and verse before the Zondo Commission last week. (For a comprehensive account, read Marianne Thamm here).
The ANC leadership is understood to be shaken by the testimony of Sydney Mufamadi, who headed a high-level panel into what transpired within the intelligence services under former president Jacob Zuma. The panel’s report made recommendations on how to improve oversight and functioning of the SSA.
The acting director-general of the SSA, Loyiso Jafta, also testified about stolen funds, lost assets worth R9-billion, political interference and an alleged effort by the spooks to influence the outcome of the ANC elective conference of 2017.
News24 reported that Dlodlo told the party’s top six that Jafta was not qualified for his role at the agency. However, Daily Maverick was informed that his name did not come up during the briefing. Either way, Dlodlo’s view of Jafta is not shared widely by the governing party.
A former member of MK, Jafta cut his teeth in intelligence in various roles when former president Thabo Mbeki was in office. He was subsequently marginalised by Zuma and former state security minister Siyabonga Cwele, both of whom stacked the agency with their own people.
City Press reported last year that Dlodlo is at odds with both Jafta and the deputy head of the SSA for domestic intelligence, Mahlodi Muofhe. She reportedly trusts neither of them. Jafta and Muofhe were appointed to the SSA by Ramaphosa as part of his efforts to reform the institution.
The relationship between Dlodlo and Jafta suffered another blow last week when she attempted to gag him from testifying before the Zondo Commission.
In turn, Jafta is facing internal pressure from present and former colleagues at the SSA who question why he did not go to the Inspector-General of Intelligence rather than the commission.
They say the SSA, and by extension the country, has been left exposed as has the agency’s covert networks. One senior agent questioned why Jafta did not lay criminal charges regarding the disappearance of assets worth R9-billion, or the millions he claims were siphoned out of the SSA in various illegal operations.
The sources say that Project Veza, the name given to the investigation Jafta undertook which formed the basis of his testimony, will not stand up to scrutiny when the people he named appear before Judge Zondo. The commission’s highly regarded investigators investigate claims independently before public hearings take place.
The latest hearings have certainly opened a can of spook worms.
The former head of the SSA, Arthur Fraser (and current commissioner of correctional services), has laid perjury charges against Mufamadi and Jafta, maintaining that the value of assets which cannot be accounted for is R9-million and not R9-billion.
Dlodlo’s spokesperson, Mava Scott, has set out what efforts are being made to reform the SSA. You can read about that here. DM
Nintendo used to ship its SNES console by night to avoid theft by the Yakuza.
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