Political interference in SSA a threat to the country’s sovereignty: Analyst

Political Analyst Thamsanqa Malinga says the interference by Ministers in the intelligence services of the country poses a risk to South Africa’s sovereignty.

The State Capture Commission has found in the final two parts of its report that the requirement that the State Security Agency (SSA) report to a Minister paved the way for interference in the operations of the agency.

Current structure of the SSA allows for political interference: Analysts

The findings say this was particularly true during the tenure of former State Security Ministers Siyabonga Cwele and David Mahlobo during the administration of then President Jacob Zuma.

Malinga has cited the laying of a criminal complaint against current President Cyril Ramaphosa by former State Security DG Arthur Fraser.

“It reports to a President who can manipulate it to get rid of his detractors but most importantly if we look at the issue of Fraser going to open a case against Cyril Ramaphosa for something that happened in 2020 and he had left, how is it that a senior person can be able to leave with intel? What else has he got stored in a safe somewhere? This is the problem with putting politicians or party politically beholden people into the SSA because they then take information with them that they use against their enemies or they can use against the state.”

The report states the following about David Mahlobo.

He was actively involved in, for example, projects under Project Mayibuye which included Operation Justice which was about alleged attempts to bribe some judges. As well as in addition, the Commission noted, among other things, that in all probabilities, despite his denial, Cwele stopped a probe into the controversial Gupta family.

The commission also recommended that Mahlobo be investigated by law enforcement agencies, specifically for monies he is said to have taken from the SSA.

It says he was actively involved in Project Mayibuye which included sub-projects such as Project Wave and Project Justice – initiatives aimed at influencing the media and the judiciary.

Also worrying it says was his involvement in the withdrawals, handling and distribution of large sums of money. Mahlobo’s involvement in operational matters is beyond doubt according to the Commission, with evidence of R130 million spent on so-called “Minister’s Projects”.

The report says that evidence also found that Mahlobo received R2.5 million a month which later increased to R4.5 million from the Agency which he allegedly said was for former President Jacob Zuma.

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