SSA adviser calls suspension ‘purely malicious’

The minister of state security’s special adviser, Bob Mhlanga, has been suspended. This comes less than a month after Mhlanga’s co-office bearer Gibson Njenje was fired.

The turn in the pair’s employment comes after the release of a report in March this year by a high-level review panel appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa to investigate alleged irregularities at the State Security Agency (SSA). In that report, the panel said the intelligence agency was being used in political factional battles, and pointed to instances of alleged financial mismanagement and criminality. It also recommended sweeping changes to the intelligence structures.

Both Njenje and Mhlanga had previously been fired from the agency during President Thabo Mbeki’s term, but both were reinstated under President Jacob Zuma.

Speaking to Eyewitness News on Monday, Mhlanga confirmed that State Security Minister Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba suspended him on Friday, calling the move “purely malicious” and saying it was designed to disrupt interventions to stabilise the State Security Agency.

Mhlanga said that he has been accused of drawing a salary from both the International Relations Department where he was transferred to several years ago, as well as the State Security Agency. He said that there was a valid explanation for his salary arrangement — when he returned to the agency last year as a special adviser, there was an agreement between the two human resources departments — which could have been explained, had Letsatsi-Duba conducted a proper investigation.


Mhlanga said further that he was brought back to the SSA in order to stabilise it, but is “upset and disappointed” at the poor treatment he has received.

The agency’s Mahlodi Muofhe said that he was unable to comment due to not having a minister in the role as of the weekend, as the country awaits Ramaphosa’s announcement of a new Cabinet.

Last week, Letsatsi-Duba denied claims that she had lived a double life for a decade, earning millions as a spy while still an MEC in Limpopo.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Aaisha Dadi Patel
Aaisha Dadi Patel
Aaisha Dadi Patel was previously a member of the M&G’s online team. She holds an MA in Media Studies from the University of the Witwatersrand

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

Medical aids blame external costs as fees increase beyond inflation

Medical aid is becoming more of a luxury for many South Africans, and it’s not about to get any better

Mahikeng compounds its mess

The ailing town that wasted R2-billion appoints a municipal manager rated ‘basic’, the lowest level

More top stories

Parliament owes South Africa an apology on state capture —...

The speaker told the Zondo commission she doesn’t know why the legislature woke up to state capture so late, but believes this won’t happen again

Cape Town fire ‘largely contained’, evacuation orders remain in place

Authorities confirmed the fire had been largely contained by early Monday afternoon, although reports suggest the fire had jumped the road near Tafelberg Drive

Zondo says break-in will not intimidate commission

The deputy chief justice said it was not clear if the burglary and a recent shooting were more than criminality, but vowed no one would deter the inquiry

European heavyweights face criticism over ‘cynical’ Super League

The 12 founding clubs of the breakaway competition have faced backlash from the football community
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…