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SSA spent millions on Zuma cases, infiltrating media, Zondo Commission told

Former chairperson of the high-level review panel into the State Security Agency, Sydney Mufamadi, said that his panel was told that the State Security Agency paid amounts of R1.2 million and R4.5 million to then-minister David Mahlobo to influence the outcome of Zuma’s cases.

A YouTube screengrab of former chairperson of the high-level review panel into the State Security Agency, Sydney Mufamadi, appearing at the state capture inquiry on 25 January 2021.

JOHANNESBURG - The state capture commission has heard how the State Security Agency spent millions on projects, including influencing the outcome of former President Jacob Zuma’s cases, testing his food for toxins and infiltrating the media.

Former chairperson of the high-level review panel into the State Security Agency, Sydney Mufamadi, presented the findings of his investigations but he warned that the information must be verified.

These were events that occurred from 2011 to 2018 after Zuma made a proclamation that established the special operations unit.

Mufamadi said that his panel was told that the State Security Agency paid amounts of R1.2 million and R4.5 million to then-minister David Mahlobo to influence the outcome of Zuma’s cases.

"Allegations made were to the effect that judges were bribed to achieve this purpose," Mufamadi said.

But Mufamadi warned that there was no evidence to prove that judges were paid and this must be investigated.

"There is a more fundamental issue of whether our system can still be relied upon to deliver."

He said that the unit was also used to pay accommodation for apartheid operative Eugene de Kock, Zuma’s estranged wife Mantuli, as well projects to counter support for the African National Congress (ANC) CR17 campaign, and to infiltrate trade unions and the media.

"In the opinion of the SSA, there was bad publicity about the president, the country and SAA."

Mufamadi said that the secrecy in intelligence disempowered Parliament to play oversight and the people to hold the SSA to account.

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