/ 30 August 2009

DA to oppose appointment of Mo Shaik as NIA head

The Democratic Alliance will oppose the reported appointment of Mo Shaik, one of President Jacob Zuma’s closest advisors, as the National Intelligence Agency’s (NIA) new director general.

Shaik’s appointment would ”fan political flames” in the NIA, party MP Theo Coetzee said in a statement on Sunday.

”The Democratic Alliance believes that Mo Shaik is exactly the wrong person to be appointed as the head of the NIA and we will oppose his nomination, if indeed his name is put forward.”

According to weekend newspapers City Press and Rapport the contract of the current head, Manala Manzini, expires on Monday.

Quoting an unnamed source, City Press reported that Shaik was set to take over the post.

According to Coetzee: ”The appointment of Mo Shaik, who is an important political ally and close personal friend of President Jacob Zuma, would no doubt fan political flames within the NIA.

”Mo Shaik is deeply involved in faction fights within the ruling party, and we must therefore assume that his appointment will further politicise the NIA.”

Zuma had ”set about deploying all those people most loyal to him, to key positions in the state”.

”Significantly — and increasingly — these cadres are being deployed to positions which should be independent of the state and to positions which, at the very least, should be defined by that person’s expertise in a given area, as opposed to their political credentials.

”It was this trend that defined much about the centralised, autocratic and, ultimately, factionalised nature of government under Thabo Mbeki.”

Shaik told Rapport that he had not yet received an invitation to join the NIA.

The NIA could not be reached for comment on Sunday afternoon. – Sapa