Zondo tells Fraser to exhaust talks with SSA over declassification of documents

The former intelligence boss wanted agency documents declassified so that he could use them to testify at the state capture commission.

FILE: Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo is seen during a session of the commission of inquiry into state capture in Johannesburg on 16 November 2020. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has indefinitely postponed Arthur Fraser’s application to declassify intelligence documents at the state capture inquiry.

He said that Fraser should exhaust talks with the State Security Agency (SSA) first.

The former intelligence boss wanted agency documents declassified so that he could use them to testify at the state capture commission.

Fraser wanted the commission to order the minister of State Security, the director-general of the agency and the agency to allow him to use its documents to testify.

But the State Security Agency said that Fraser was abusing the processes of the state capture inquiry because he knew that the documents he wanted declassified could not be made public.

"This applicant is requesting information that pertains to a lot of intelligence information that has to do with the methods of collection, the sources and identities of the operatives and knows very well that the director-general is by law forbidden to disclose that information."

Zondo said that he was giving the parties more time to talk.

"So my attitude would be to postpone it but everybody understands that there are time constraints, so the parties would need to do whatever they need to do as expeditiously as possible."

The commission will hear from Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe next.

He’s expected to testify about parliamentary oversight.

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