Former president Jacob Zuma used the intelligence services for his own political and personal interests, most notably against his successor, Cyril Ramaphosa, a government report charges.
Published Saturday on Ramaphosa’s initiative, the report of about 100 pages details “serious breaches of the Constitution, policy, law, regulations and directives” by Zuma during his nearly nine years in office.
According to the report, the State Security Agency (SSA) targeted Ramaphosa in the run-up to his becoming president of the ANC in 2017, and then state president, it said. Zuma stepped down in February 2018 amid allegations of massive corruption.
The agency was “able to infiltrate and penetrate the leadership structure” of the movement against Zuma, said the report, drawn up by a team under former minister Dr Sydney Mufamadi said.
The SSA became a “cash cow” for many, both inside and outside the agency, it added.
The review panel was appointed in June 2018 to assess the structure of the SSA relative to its mandate and enquire into its systems and capacity.
President Ramaphosa asked the panel to identify all material factors that contributed to current challenges in the SSA so that appropriate measures could be instituted to prevent a recurrence.
The main objective of the review panel was to assist in ensuring a responsible and accountable national intelligence capability for the country in line with the Constitution and relevant legislation.
The panel — chaired by Mufamadi — included nine other members with a wide range of senior level experience and expertise in law, security studies, civil society, academia, the intelligence and security community and other arms of government.
The panel comprised:
• Dr Sydney Mufamadi
• Prof Jane Duncan
• Mr Barry Gilder
• Ms Siphokazi Magadla
• Mr Murray Michell
• Ms Basetsana Molebatsi
• Mr Andre Pruis
• Mr Silumko Sokupa
• Mr Anthoni Van Nieuwkerk
• Prof Sibusiso Vil-Nkomo
In response, Zuma took to Twitter accusing the committee of having two apartheid-era spies in its ranks.
“I have never been asked any questions by this committee…,” he tweeted on Sunday. “I’ve never sold out nor written letters” to the security services.
I have never been asked any questions by this committee. This committee has 2 well known Apartheid spies. I’ve never sold out nor written letters to the SB. I feel nothing when Apartheid spies call me corrupt. I hope people are not opening a can of worms which they might regret
— Jacob G Zuma (@PresJGZuma) March 10, 2019
“I hope people are not opening a can of worms which they might regret,” he added.
Ramaphosa has promised to root out corruption and, in a strong statement on the report, condemned the way the intelligence services had been politicised.
“A key finding of the panel is that there has been political malpurposing and factionalisation of the intelligence community over the past decade or more that has resulted in an almost complete disregard for the Constitution, policy, legislation and other prescripts,” Ramaphosa added.
A review should consider splitting the SSA in two to create a domestic and a foreign service, he added.
The Democratic Alliance has called for the immediate suspension of all members of the SSA implicated in the report and for the police to charge those responsible.
The Presidency says the report it published has been redacted for public consumption in view of the fact that the full report contains the names and identities of persons who cannot be named at this point, as well as details of operational matters that would compromise the work of the SSA.
Read the report below:
High-Level Review Panel on … by on Scribd