Home South African Forensic firm hired to probe State Security Agency – Ramaphosa

Forensic firm hired to probe State Security Agency – Ramaphosa

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has revealed that the State Security Agency has appointed a forensic firm to investigate all suspected cases of malfeasance, corruption and criminality in the agency.

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA)

PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa has revealed that the State Security Agency (SSA) has appointed a forensic firm to investigate all suspected cases of malfeasance, corruption and criminality in the agency.

“Ligwa Advisory Services has now been appointed with effect from November 2, 2021 to conduct forensic investigations into malfeasance, corruption and criminality in the SSA,” Ramaphosa said.

The investigation would also cover those matters revealed in the high-level panel report on SSA or the Inspector-General of Intelligence report, he said.

“This will assist in determining what criminal prosecution or disciplinary steps need to be taken,” Ramaphosa said in a written reply to parliamentary questions from DA leader John Steenhuisen.

The president appointed the high-level review panel on the SSA in June 2018 to assess the mandate, capacity, and organisational integrity of the agency.

In March 2019, the redacted version of the panels’ report was published without the names and identities of implicated persons.

A key finding of the panel, which was led by former minister Sydney Mufamadi, was that there had been “political malpurposing and factionalisation” of the intelligence community that has resulted in an almost complete disregard for the Constitution, policy, legislation, and other prescripts.

Ramaphosa said the SSA was also committed to assisting the National Prosecuting Authority’s Investigating Directorate in any of its investigations.

“In addition to any matters referred for criminal prosecution, internal disciplinary steps will be taken against all individuals implicated in wrongdoing,” he said.

In its report, the high-level review panel recommended to Ramaphosa that he appoint a task team to unpack its recommendations into a concrete plan of action

Ramaphosa said the task team was appointed in July 2020 and was originally scheduled to complete its work by January 2021.

He added that due to the Covid-19 pandemic the work could not be completed.

“A revised date will be determined in consultation with myself.”

Ramaphosa said the task team was in the process of reviewing the various pieces of intelligence legislation.

“The powers of the member of the executive responsible for state security as they relate to the administration of the security services in the republic will be considered during this review process as per the recommendations of the high-level review panel,” he said.

Ramaphosa said the task team was considering options proposed by the panel.

Steenhuisen enquired whether he would introduce amending legislation to follow a similar process currently undertaken for the appointment of the National Director of Public Prosecutions in the appointment of heads of security services.

“The task team is studying the options proposed by the HLRP, and the outcome of its deliberations will be fed into the review of intelligence legislation that is under way,” Ramaphosa said.

– POLITICAL BUREAU

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