I-G of Intelligence should probe spying by Gupta proxies – John Steenhuisen

DA says it is deeply concerning that state resources may have been used to provide family with information on perceived ‘opponents’

DA to ask Inspector-General of Intelligence to probe spying by Gupta proxies

5 July 2017

The DA will ask the Inspector-General of Intelligence, Dr Setlhomamaru Isaac Dintwe, to urgently probe allegations that state resources were used to spy on prominent South Africans, on behalf of the Gupta family.

Shocking media reports on 24 June detailed how Sahara Chief Executive and close Gupta associate, Ashu Chawla, had access to sensitive, confidential and private state-held information about prominent South Africans. These included the personal and travel information of EFF leader, Julius Malema; former Minister of Finance, Trevor Manuel, and his wife, Absa CEO Maria Ramos; Investec CEO Stephen Koseff; and the chairpersons of FirstRand and RMI holding companies, Laurie Dippenaar and GT Ferreira.

Subsequent media reports have also detailed surveillance of prominent journalists and editors, allegedly as part of an intimidation and harassment campaign by former Gupta employees.

Following the first reports, Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs called on Malusi Gigaba to appear before it to explain what role that his former department played in this breach. On two occasions Gigaba failed to present himself.

It remains the DA’s contention that Chawla could only have received the information from persons within the Department of Home Affairs and the State Security Agency (SSA).

It is deeply concerning that state resources may have been used to provide the Gupta family with information on perceived ‘opponents’. It also points to the seeming dysfunction in South Africa’s intelligence services that a clandestine spy network, reporting to the Guptas, exists within government.

It is distressing that the Minister of State Security, David Mahlobo, once again finds himself embroiled in a scandal involving the misuse of state intelligence resources. It seems the SSA is either unable or unwilling to do its actual job, namely “provid[ing] the government with intelligence on domestic and foreign threats or potential threats to national stability, the constitutional order, and the safety and wellbeing of our people”.

The former and current ministers of Home Affairs and State Security all have explaining to do. It is our earnest hope that the IGI can get to the bottom of these serious allegations.

Issued by John Steenhuisen, Chief Whip of the Democratic Alliance, 5 July 2017