/ 4 March 2021

The EFF questions Dlodlo’s authority over the department of state security

South Africa's New Cabinet Inaugurated
Minister of State Security Ayanda Dlodlo denied allegations of incompetence over her handling of the Project Justice bombshell. (Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF) member of parliament Mbuyiseni Ndlozi has questioned the competency of Minister of State Security Ayanda Dlodlo in a hybrid sitting in parliament on Wednesday. 

His remarks came after the minister failed to answer a question by Ndlozi about judges being bribed by the State Security Agency (SSA) under an operation code-named “Project Justice”

The Project Justice allegations were made by the acting director general of the SSA, Loyiso Jafta and Sydney Mufamadi, the chair of the high-level review panel review into the SSA, in January at the Zondo commission.

Before Jafta made his explosive testimony, a day after Mufamadi, the minister had tried and failed to convince the commission to postpone his appearance. 

“The question in respect to the allegations relating to what is called Project Justice and many other projects, which were mentioned as part of the testimony of the acting director general and Mufamadi at the state capture commission, remains one of great concern,” Dlodlo told parliament. 

She explained that both testimonies were made as part of a larger effort to deal with fraud, corruption, and misconduct over time at the agency. 

“I would like to set the record straight that as the executive authority charged with political responsibility for the control and direction of the national intelligence services, I am fully behind the efforts to repurpose the agency to fulfil its constitutional mandate in the broader framework of good governance and accountability,” she said.  

However, Dlodlo said that she was concerned at the testimony given at the state capture commission, especially in light of and concerning the allegations of the so-called Project Justice, mostly because the allegations have not been verified, nor has there been evidence presented on the matter. 

Dlodlo said she asked Jafta to furnish her with evidence, but so far, he has not done so. 

She explained that she wanted to delay Jafta’s testimony because, as the executive committee, “I needed to be satisfied that the kind information given to the commission is both accurate and credible.”

She concluded by saying she could not respond to questions because she does not have information to back her answers up. 

Ndlozi then said, “You are not in charge of the security intelligence. You are presiding over people who do not trust you. It’s either you are incompetent, or you are not in charge.”

Referring to Jafta and Mufamadi’s testimonies, Ndlozi said: “They did not tell you they are going to testify? Shows that you are not in control. Should you not step down?” 

Dlodlo replied that she had worked in various government departments and her competency had never been questioned. 

She suggested that, as for the matter of her removal from office, Ndlozi should take up the matter with President Cyril Ramaphosa.