Telling empowering stories, South Africans want to hear
Friday, 29 January 2021 15:47
By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
Three ministers were fingered for actively aiding the collapse of the State Security Agency (SSA) during former president Jacob Zuma’s years.
Former state security ministers Siyabonga Cwele, David Mahlobo and Bongani Bongo were accused at the state capture commission of using the agency to advance the interests of Zuma.
This was the testimony of an SSA operative who was granted permission to testify anonymously.
The trio, said the witness, "Ms K", enforced Zuma’s political interests in the running of the SSA.
On the ground at operational level, charged Ms K, the implementers were then special ops boss Thulani Dlomo, Moruti Nosi and former SSA director-general Arthur Fraser, among others.
Said Ms K, reading from an affidavit of another anonymous witness: "At the executive level, the abuse of SSA’s mandate occurred primarily under the political leadership of minsters Siyabonga Cwele, David Mahlobo and advocate Bongani Bongo. And this was executed and implemented primarily, although not exclusively, by Mr Moruti Nosi, ambassador Thulani Dlomo and Mr Arthur Fraser."
Ms K also confirmed most of the evidence led on Monday by former High-Level Review Panel chairperson Sydney Mufamadi, including abuse in setting up operations to fulfil functions that were already catered for by other departments, such as the SA Police Service (SAPS) and SA National Defence Force (SANDF).
Essentially, said Ms K, SSA created a "private force" for the protection and advancement of Zuma’s interests.
This force comprised operatives who were recruited by Dlomo before he was employed at SSA.
None of the agents were formally employed by the agency.
Meanwhile unidentified witness Ms K said that former intelligence boss, Arthur Fraser, signed two payments of R20 million for Africa News Agency in 2017.
She is continuing her testimony at the state capture commission about 'Project Wave' that was aimed at infiltrating the media.
Available records said that R48 million was spent on it.
Ms K confirmed that agents said that some journalists were too expensive, some media houses resisted advances for payment but in some instances, prices were increased to meet those demands and they were paid.
The commission said that it would have to serve notices to these implicated individuals and companies before naming them.
Acting State Security Director-General Loyiso Jafta told the commission that R125 million was unaccounted for in 2017 and 2018 when Fraser was director-general but he denied this.
"There are two separate invoices of R10 million each but the invoices are actually addressed for the attention of Mr Thulani Dlomo. There are invoices that were action and paid in January 2017 and it's the signature of Mr Arthur Fraser," Ms K told the inquiry.