/ 16 October 2008

NIA denies spying on legitimate political activity

The National Intelligence Agency (NIA) on Thursday denied spying on legitimate political activity.

The reference to the NIA in a Sunday Times news report, ”Terror talks tough”, on October 12 had created the impression that the agency was involved in illegal surveillance, said Lorna Daniels, Intelligence Minister Siyabonga Cwele’s spokesperson.

”While it is our policy to not confirm or deny NIA operations, we do think it is important to reassure all citizens that we are not concerned with legitimate political activity.

”Only those individuals engaged in unlawful activity receive the NIA’s attention,” she said.

The agency’s operational directives were also very clear on when intrusive methods such as surveillance could be applied.

Cwele had looked into the allegation and found no unlawful operation as mentioned in the Sunday Times, she said. — Sapa