Act against those involved in abuse of state intelligence services – SACP

Party also reserves its rights to lay criminal charges against those who spied on its leadership

SACP calls for stern legal action to be taken against those who were involved in the abuse of state intelligence services

12 March 2019

The South African Communist Party calls for stern legal action to be taken to hold to account all of those who were complicit in the abuse of state intelligence services as detailed in the “High Level Review Panel Report on the State Security Agency”, released by President Ramaphosa on Saturday, 9 March 2019. The report clearly vindicates the SACP, which was the first to expose corporate state capture and mobilise resolutely against it. The SACP was among the first and chief targets of the abuse of state intelligence services. The Party characterised the abuse as the real rogue intelligence operations.

The SACP also reserves its own rights to lay criminal charges and make civil claims against those who might have violated the rights of any of its leadership through such rogue and illegal intelligence activities. With this report by the Panel, it is also becoming clearer that parts of the intelligence services have been used to achieve three dubious and inter-related objective: 1) to hide the corruption behind state capture 2), to target “enemies” of a particular faction within our movement, and 3) intelligence services themselves as sites of looting.

The SACP, on becoming aware that it was one of the targets of criminal and illegal rogue intelligence activities, formally lodged complaints with the Inspector-General of Intelligence and supplied all relevant information necessary for a successful investigation. The correctness of the information has now been confirmed by large sections of the “High Level Review Panel Report on the State Security Agency”. The report was completed in December 2018.

The SACP has further noted that the Inspector-General of Intelligence, Dr Setlhomamaru Dintwe, is set to conclude some of his investigations into the abuse of state intelligence services, and their resources, by the end of this financial year. We urge the IGI to conclude his investigations without any further delay. It is in the interests of our country that we must go to the bottom of this rot.  

The SACP further notes with concern that rogue intelligence activities may have been an integral part of the fees must fall struggles, seeking to exploit these for narrow factionalist and personal accumulation interests. The Party hopes that further information will come out on the fuller story on this front. We further urge all those with further information to bring such before the law enforcement authorities.

The high level intelligence review panel asked profound questions: “In unpacking     its mandate and Terms of Reference, the key question the Panel agreed it needed to find answers to was: ‘What the hell happened?’ In other words, what were the key factors that led to the situation that necessitated the appointment of this Panel?” (page 63).

In probing the questions, the panel found: “Invariably, the most common answer the Panel received when it put this question to many interviewees was the increasing politicisation of the intelligence and security community in general, and the SSA in particular, over the past decade or more.” (page 63)

It is important to underline the fact that the politicisation of the intelligence community in general goes beyond the past decade and therefore all who have been implicated must be held to account for this abuse.  

The report further states, in the form of a finding: “It is clear from the above information (referring to the findings it contains) and other information available to the Panel that SO (Special Operations) had largely become a parallel intelligence structure serving a faction of the ruling party and, in particular, the personal political interests of the sitting president of the party and country [at that time]. This is in direct breach of the Constitution, the White Paper, the relevant legislation and plain good government intelligence functioning.” (page 66)

All those who were complicit in the abuse of state intelligence services, up to the highest levels of authority, must be held to account without fear, favour or prejudice. Whatever excuses and rationalisations the culprits might proffer, they must answer for these shenanigans before the criminal justice system. As part of this, criminal charges must be seen to be preferred as recommended in the high level intelligence review panel report. 

The SACP further welcomes the decision taken by President Ramaphosa to restructure and in particular professionalise the intelligence services in terms of the law. Those who are said to be rebelling to preserve lawlessness must be investigated and held to account.

Issued by Alex Mohubetswane Mashilo, National Spokesperson & Head of Communications, SACP, 12 March 2019