Mbeki appoints new intelligence coordinator

The South African Secret Service’s (Sass) deputy director general, Silumko Sokupa, would take over as the new coordinator for intelligence next month, the Intelligence Services said on Tuesday.

Spokesperson Lorna Daniels said President Thabo Mbeki had appointed Sokupa following the early retirement of Barry Gilder.

She said Sokupa would relinquish his position as the Secret Service’s deputy director general before taking his new position on November 1.

She said the coordinator for intelligence position was located in the National Intelligence Coordinating Committee (Nicoc) which consisted of heads of the National Intelligence Agency, the Secret Services, the South African Police Service’s Crime Intelligence, Defence Intelligence and the Directors General in the Presidency and the Foreign Affairs Department.

“Nicoc’s functions include coordination and the integration and interpretation of all information provided by the various intelligence structures,” she said.

The structure was responsible for briefing Cabinet and its committees on intelligence priorities and its products included periodical intelligence assessments, the annual national intelligence estimate and the national intelligence priorities, she said.

Nicoc also operated a national early warning centre that anticipated threats and it was linked to a regional centre in Gaborone and a continental early warning Centre in Ethiopia.

“Mr Sokupa brings to the position of coordinator for intelligence the critical skills acquired from his many years of experience in intelligence, including a two-year period of secondment to Correctional Services in 1999 to assist with strengthening that department, working as the NIA Eastern Cape manager following amalgamation, later supervising and managing three provinces—as well as extensive knowledge and experience in foreign intelligence while deployed at the Sass,” she said. - Sapa

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