Sexual relations between the president and women Cabinet ministers, Democratic Alliance leader Tony Leon being for the ”white man struggle”, and racist talks between Scorpions investigators are all part of the National Intelligence Agency’s (NIA) hoax e-mail saga.
On Thursday, the Inspector General of Intelligence, Zolile Ngcakani, declared the e-mails to be false.
”Based on our evaluation of the veracity of the content of the e-mails … together with our evaluation of the technical feasibility of them being intercepted products, in our opinion the allegedly intercepted e-mails and chat rooms were in fact mock-ups that sought to resemble the online communication of ‘targets selected for interception’,” he said.
Ngcakani found the e-mails to be part of a conspiracy agenda to mislead NIA agents looking into the political situation in the country.
None of the almost 100 e-mails and chat-room discussions was found to be from the purported authors.
The conspiracy agenda was allegedly pursued by two groups of conspirators, one led by a Xhosa faction in business and the government and the other by the leader of the opposition, the media and white reactionaries in the Scorpions.
The first e-mails appeared in February and were apparently between businessman and African National Congress member Saki Macozoma and former national director of public prosecutions Bulelani Ngcuka.
In one, made to look as if written by Macozoma, Ngcuka is praised for ”getting that Zulu fool [former deputy president Jacob Zuma] out of the way”. In the ”response”, Ngcuka supposedly wrote: ”We are making sure that the Zulu bastard is nailed to the cross.”
In March there was no activity. In April, Macozoma supposedly wrote to government spokesperson Joel Netshitenzhe about the plan to ”nail the Zulu boy”.
In May, June and July it was quiet again, but in August the right-wing ”Whiteman’s Struggle” group entered the fray with DA leader Leon at the head.
He and Professor Anton Harber and M&G Online publisher Matthew Buckland were supposed to make plans to use the media to divide the ANC.
Leon is then dragged into the conspiracy to topple Zuma. In one alleged chat-room discussion with Scorpion investigators Johan and Izak du Plooy, Johan supposedly wrote: ”These blacks have not intelligence prowess. Their intelligence officials waste time being drunk in Joburg and Pretoria pubs, while we milk info.”
”We’ve got the bastard by the balls, he is going straight to jail,” Izak wrote later in the purported discussion, to which Leon supposedly replied: ”Great!! In the new Republic you guys need to run the police.”
In August, just before the actual raids on Zuma’s house, more e-mails appeared that Ngcakani found were wrongly dated to appear as if there was forewarning of the raids on Zuma.
Vusi Pikoli, head of the National Prosecuting Authority, is supposed to have e-mailed the Director General in the Presidency, Frank Chikane.
”As discussed, the final assault will take place. We have resolved to attack all Zuma’s residences including his house in Nkandla [and] Johannesburg. We are also going after his lawyer and other friends of his to destroy this hope he is beginning to have.”
The right-wing group also allegedly knew of the raids. ”We’ll use the ‘A-team’ from the old days and a few darkies to sprinkle on,” one Scorpions investigator wrote.
Referring to the investigation into the murder of Brett Kebble, Gerhard Nel, head of the Gauteng Scorpions, was dragged in and supposedly wrote: ”We must finish this Kebble thing, so that all people who want to help Kaffirs now that it is dangerous en that people can go to jail.”
The name of Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka appears throughout the e-mail conspiracy. She allegedly wrote: ”What is your view regarding the issues surrounding the Kampephe commission don’t you think that we need to rein in that woman? Would we be able to ensure that this commission has the same result as the Hefer one?”
In more outlandish e-mails, Leon apparently asked for video footage on Mbeki to ”watch” his every move. Intelligence Minister Ronnie Kasrils supposedly set up a special encrypted facility and Mbeki had sexual relations with Mlambo-Ngcuka and Minister of Public Service and Administration Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi.
The saga started when the NIA began an operation codenamed Avani in which it looked at the political dynamics within the ANC, as well as other interparty dynamics.
Ngcakani found this was a valid operation by the NIA but when the e-mails were introduced into the project, it turned sour. ”It introduced an element of conspiracy to the investigation.”
He found the project team tried to validate the e-mails but was prevented from doing so by the former director general of intelligence, Billy Masetlha.
”It was apparent that the Project Avani team … had not readily and gullibly accepted the authenticity of the resultant ‘intercepted’ e-mails which remained in the exclusive domain and custody (with minor exceptions) of the director general of the NIA and another persons,” he said in a report on his investigation.
Despite this, the NIA launched physical surveillance operations against Macozoma and was planning similar surveillance of Leon and Harber.
”The voice communications of at least 13 members of the public, including senior members of the ruling party, the opposition, businessmen and officials in the public service, were also intercepted,” the report read.
Ngcakani investigated the e-mails on Kasrils’s instruction following complaints by Macozoma that he had been placed under illegal surveillance after he was implicated in the e-mails.
Almost 100 e-mails were created to look as they were sent and intercepted between February and October last year.
The investigation team recommended ”appropriate superintendence” and oversight for political intelligence operations. Ngcakani’s team also asked for a regulatory framework for political intelligence operations.
He will make a similar report to Parliament’s standing committee on intelligence oversight. — Sapa