The Democratic Alliance (DA) has threatened to take legal action if the police or the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) refuse to prosecute State Security Agency (SSA) director-general, Arthur Fraser.
In his acclaimed book The President’s Keepers , investigative journalist and author Jacques Pauw implicated Fraser in widespread corruption at the SSA between 2007 and 2009.
Pauw wrote that Fraser established an alleged rogue intelligence programme, known as the Principle Agent Network (PAN), by allegedly copying the signature of then-minister of intelligence Ronnie Kasrils. He allegedly also used PAN to benefit several of his relatives.
Speaking to News24 outside the Cape Town police station, DA chief whip John Steenhuisen said the opposition party would give “police the opportunity to do their job first” before exploring other legal avenues.
Steenhuisen was at the police station to lay charges of corruption against Fraser and his son Lyle, his brother Barry and his mother, CF Fraser.
He said: “We want to give police the opportunity to do their job first.
“If it appears that they’re not going to do that or the NPA doesn’t want to prosecute, we will be left with no option but to seek other avenues and court is one of them.”
“Where criminal activities occur, charges must be opened. They must be investigated and people must be prosecuted if they don’t follow through on that.”
News24 has seen Steenhuisen’s 11-page affidavit to police. In it he referenced The President’s Keepers extensively on the “presumption that the book and/or media reports are factually accurate”. Steenhuisen said Fraser and his relatives contravened sections of the Prevention of Combating of Corrupt Activities Act by allegedly accepting and giving bribes and improperly influencing the awarding of contracts.
He told News24 that the DA was also in “possession of reports from within the State Security Agency which show that, in fact, criminal charges were recommended against Mr Fraser and others”, which were never laid.
Asked whether laying charges shouldn’t be seen as a publicity stunt by the opposition party, Steenhuisen said this was the “mechanism the laws of South Africa prescribes for those who have done wrong”.
“People can obviously say that, but it is simply not the truth. We will now follow up on a monthly basis, exactly as I’ve done. I’ve submitted parliamentary questions every single month on the office of the chief justice break-in and we will continue to [do] that here.”
SSA spokesperson Brian Dube did not respond to a request for comment.
Steenhuisen added that he believes the tide is changing against state capture in South Africa.
“I certainly think so. I think that you saw yesterday evening Mr Mantashe admitting that state capture exists,” he said.
“It is only President Jacob Zuma who seems to think that state capture is not an issue in South Africa and of course he would think that because he and his family have been one of the major beneficiaries of state capture,” claimed Steenhuisen. — News24