Tight-lipped Arthur Fraser makes first Parly appearance in new post

Fraser was abruptly removed as head of the State Security Agency in the midst of a legal stand-off between him and the Inspector General of Intelligence. He is now national Correctional Services commissioner.

FILE: Arthur Fraser. Picture: www.ssa.gov.za

CAPE TOWN – A tight-lipped Arthur Fraser has attended his first parliamentary meeting as new National Commissioner of Correctional Services, as the row over his transfer escalates.

The former spy boss was abruptly removed as head of the State Security Agency at the behest of President Cyril Ramaphosa this week in the midst of a legal stand-off between him and the Inspector General of Intelligence (IGI).

Inspector General Dr Setlhomamaru Dintwe’s urgent application for an interdict barring Fraser from interfering with his duties is set to come before the North Gauteng High Court on Thursday.

Justice Minister Michael Masutha says the former State Security Agency director general brings “vast experience” to his new post as national Correctional Services commissioner.

“I really am confident and look forward to him playing a positive role and being a positive influence in the work of the department going forward.”

Masutha told the committee Ramaphosa had explained to him the reasons why he felt moving Fraser was both “necessary and urgent”.

“I’m looking at it positively, I have a man with vast experience who I believe can bring such valuable experience to assist us at the department to address some of the challenges.”

Fraser wasn’t saying very much about his abrupt relocation.

“It’s my first day, so no comment yet. Once I’ve settled in we could have a chat, to engage.”

When asked if the move come as a surprise?

Fraser said: “No comment at the moment.”

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane says the lawfulness of the move is questionable, given the seriousness of allegations against Fraser, which the Inspector General of Intelligence is probing – an investigation the IGI claims Fraser is trying to frustrate.