Vacant SSA post in Parliament’s hands

SSA says the work of the Inspector General of Intelligence is continuing even though the post has been vacant.

Minister of State Security David Mahlobo. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The State Security Agency (SSA) says the work of the office of the Inspector General of Intelligence is continuing even though the top post has been vacant for five months.

Advocate Faith Radebe's non-renewable term expired at the end of March.

But the appointment of former African National Congress Member of Parliament Cecil Burgess, whom the ruling party wants to replace, requires the backing of a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly.

Head of Communications at the SSA, Brian Dube, says the matter is in Parliament's hands.

"The Inspector General is the head of the office but there are people who are doing the work and those people are there."

The Democratic Alliances' John Steenhuisen said the party will not back Burgess to become the country's civilian watchdog over the country's spies and intelligence agencies.

"We've made it very clear that Mr Burgess is not an acceptable candidate for us to perform these functions. He is executive minded and he has shown during his behavior and conduct during the Secrecy Bill hearings when he was a member of Parliament, that he is not a suitable person to fill this role."

Burgess spearheaded the processing of the controversial Protection of State Information Bill.