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Mbete given ultimatum over appointment of Inspector of Intelligence

The Right2Know Campaign has written to Baleka Mbete to make sure that the matter is dealt with.

A screen grab of parliamentary speaker Baleka Mbete watching on during the 2016 State of the Nation debate on 16 February 2016. Picture: YouTube
Democratic Alliance,parliament,Baleka Mbete,Inspector General of Intelligence
Local

CAPE TOWN – National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete has been given an ultimatum to ensure Parliament fills the long-vacant post of Inspector General of Intelligence or face possible legal action.

The Right2Know Campaign (R2K) has written to Mbete, telling her to make sure the national legislature fulfills its constitutional obligation and deal with the matter this week.

The Inspector General of Intelligence is tasked with overseeing the country’s intelligence agencies and protecting spies from abusing their powers; the post has been vacant for nearly a year after Advocate Faith Radebe’s contract expired.

The African National Congress (ANC) majority on Parliament’s Joint Standing committee on Intelligence has nominated former ANC MP Cecil Burgess for the post.

His nomination was to have been endorsed by the National Assembly in June last year,  but at the last minute it was withdrawn, because the ANC has not been able to muster the two-thirds majority of votes that the law requires.

The group’s Murray Hunter said this matter can’t be delayed any longer.

“Having exhausted all other avenues, we’ve now put an ultimatum to Parliament to say if, by Friday, you haven’t scheduled a vote or voted on this, we have no other choice but to start looking at court.”

Burgess’ nomination is controversial as he is the man who piloted the so-called secrecy bill through Parliament.

The President appoints the Inspector General after a candidate is approved by the National Assembly.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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