Ramaphosa: Review of SSA won’t block criminal probes already underway

The State Security Agency and police Crime Intelligence have been beset by allegations of corruption, malfeasance and abuse of state resources, and President Ramaphosa is moving to stop the rot.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa in the National House of Traditional Leaders on Thursday 1 March 2018. Picture: Twitter/@GovernmentZA

CAPE TOWN – President Cyril Ramaphosa says the in-depth review of the State Security Agency and police Crime Intelligence that he has ordered will not impede any criminal investigations that are already underway.

Ramaphosa has told Parliament that he will be setting up a review panel of security and intelligence experts to look at the mandate, structure, systems and capacity of national intelligence “in a matter of days”.

The overhaul follows his decision to move State Security Agency Director-General Arthur Fraser to head up Correctional Services after a stand-off with the Inspector-General of Intelligence.

Sethlomamuru Dintwe accused Fraser of undermining his ability to perform his duties and of blocking his investigation into allegations against him.

The State Security Agency and police Crime Intelligence have been beset by allegations of corruption, malfeasance and abuse of state resources, and Ramaphosa is moving to stop the rot.

“We are deeply concerned about corruption and other acts of wrongdoing in some of our intelligence services.”

Ramaphosa says the review panel will also look at the Principle Agent Network, the covert operation that former spy boss Arthur Fraser is alleged to have set up.

“We are working to stabilise key institutions in the security cluster, strengthen law enforcement institutions and shield them from any external interference or manipulation.”

Ramaphosa says the review will not block any investigations already underway.

“If there has been wrongdoing, we would say that wrongdoing has to be addressed, and those who are found to have participated in wrongdoing should indeed be dealt with.”

He’s also instructed State Security Minister Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba to take “whatever steps are necessary” to deal with problems at the agency.