Home South African Parly committee will not entertain discredited SSA letter to Ramaphosa

Parly committee will not entertain discredited SSA letter to Ramaphosa

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Parliament’s joint standing committee on intelligence will not entertain UDM leader Bantu Holomisa’s request to investigate a discredited report purported to come from former State Security Agency boss Thembi Majola

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa. File picture: Armand Hough, African News Agency (ANA)

PARLIAMENT’S joint standing committee on intelligence will not entertain United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa’s request to investigate a discredited report purported to come from former State Security Agency (SSA) boss Thembi Majola.

The report, implicating judges in allegations of corruption, was found last week to be unauthenticated, after the SSA, in a statement, distanced itself from it. This followed the report trending on social media.

Holomisa had initially written to the standing committee on Monday, asking chairperson Jerome Maake to investigate the allegations, and to verify the report.

In the letter, Holomisa said he had anonymously received the attached 54-page intelligence report, purportedly drafted by Majola, who resigned from the agency last month.

“It contains highly shocking and damaging assertions that could affect the local and international integrity and reputation of the South African judiciary and several prominent judges, as well as have implications for the Judicial Conduct Committee and Legal Aid South Africa.

“Given the length of the report and the detail given therein, it strikes one as having been made of a considered mind and that this information should be deemed of critical national importance,” wrote Holomisa.

However, speaking to Sunday Independent on Friday, Jerome Maake, chairperson of the intelligence standing committee, said the committee had already written to Holomisa, informing him they would not be investigating the report.

“This report first of all did not have a letterhead, and it was not signed by anyone… it was also [had] ‘draft’ written on all the pages. So all we had to do was confirm that it was unauthentic.

“We have responded to the Honourable Holomisa that the Presidency will deal with the matter… it is out of our hands,” Maake said.

Contacted by Sunday Independent, presidential spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said the discredited report would be ignored by the Presidency.

In a text, he wrote: ”It was deservedly ignored.”

Last week, it was reported that the SSA had distanced itself from the same “report” doing the rounds on social media.

In response to a media enquiry, the SSA said it “had noted, with concern, a document that is doing the rounds on social media purporting to be some intelligence report on judicial corruption, which is allegedly written by the former director-general, ambassador Thembisile Majola.

“The State Security Agency would like to distance itself and the former director-general from such a report. No further comment will be made in this regard,” the agency said.

Majola resigned two weeks ago, amid reports there were tensions between her and Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni.

In a statement last week, the Presidency said the parties had separated “by mutual consent”.

“The president has expressed his appreciation to ambassador Majola for her contribution to the reform and rebuilding of the State Security Agency. President Ramaphosa wishes ambassador Majola well in all her future endeavours,” Magwenya said in the statement.

She had replaced former DG Arthur Fraser, who blew the lid off the Phala Phala US dollars scandal.

The “report” in question read in part: “The State faces an imminent threat of massive damage to its international and local reputation as regards the integrity of its judiciary, and the State Security Agency (SSA) accordingly recommends immediate intervention to avert it.

“Pointing out your sensitivity to the negative implications of this public sector corruption and its potential deterrence of foreign investors, your immediate reaction through your spokesperson was to highlight the ‘very important and ongoing dialogue taking place amongst South Africans and the investment community… We are satisfied that all the branches of our democratic state, including state agencies, are vigorously pursuing their respective mandates to address our current challenges’.

“At the ninth session of the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption in December 2020, your Deputy Minister of Public Service and Administration repeated that ‘the country would exhaust all means to fight corruption’; that it ‘was committed to combating corruption in accordance with the UN convention’; that its initiatives against it were consistent with ‘the principles of openness, transparency and inclusion’; and that it was working ‘to create a society where the processes of government administration and procurement were enforced’.”

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