Did Zuma order monitoring of his political opponents? - Athol Trollip

DA PL says IG should investigate possible abuse of intelligence services for political advantage

Inspector General must investigate Zuma's role in politicisation of intelligence services

Today I will be writing to the Inspector General of Intelligence Advocate Faith Radebe to request that she investigate the possible involvement of the President in the abuse of the state security apparatus.

Last Thursday, I wrote to Advocate Radebe to request that an investigation be opened into the reported abuse of the intelligence services to fight factional battles within the ANC.

Since then, reports in the Mail and Guardian, have indicated that the Minister of State Security Siyabonga Cwele wanted State Security Agency head Gibson Njenje to place ANC politicians opposed to President Jacob Zuma under surveillance (see here).

Minister Cwele reportedly issued his request to Mr Njenje following a "threat analysis" in the ministry's Political Stability Assessment Report. A "secret intelligence report" compiled by former intelligence head Richard Mdluli, which detailed a meeting in KwaZulu-Natal at which a number of high-ranking ANC figures plotted against Zuma, is also reported to have influenced Cwele's decision.

Minister Cwele's decision to use the intelligence services for party-political purposes raises a number of questions.

  • Did President Zuma himself order Minister Cwele to use the state intelligence apparatus to monitor his political opponents? 
  • If not, on whose orders was Minister Cwele acting?

It is highly unlikely that the Minister would have made this decision without the President, or other senior ANC leaders, knowing about it. The role of the President must therefore be thoroughly interrogated.

The Inspector General must ensure that the integrity of the state intelligence apparatus is protected, and not merely used as a weapon in the arsenal of a certain political faction. This is particularly important giving the growing mistrust of the intelligence services that the Protection of Information Bill has evoked.

I trust that Adv Radebe will conduct a full investigation into the serious allegations surrounding the politicization of the intelligence services, and will do so without fear or favour. 

Statement issued by Athol Trollip MP, DA Parliamentary Leader, September 18 2011

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