This was revealed when the Intelligence Minister was asked when the permanent appointment would be made for the position of SSA director-general.
INTELLIGENCE Minister Ayanda Dlodlo has revealed that 15 top positions in the State Security Agency (SSA) were occupied by persons in an acting capacity.
Dlodlo said this in a written response to parliamentary questions from DA MP Mimmy Gondwe, who asked when the permanent appointment would be made for the position of SSA director-general.
Gondwe also asked whether the contract of acting director-general has been extended after it expired at the end of March 2020.
She also enquired when the permanent appointment would be made for the position of director-general for the foreign branch and the number of vacant deputy-director general and general manager posts within the SSA.
In her written response, Dlodlo said that the appointment of the SSA director-general was a work in progress.
“Details on the process including the date will be provided to the Parliament Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence (JSCI),” she said.
Loyiso Jafta has been acting in the position since former director-general Arthur Fraser was transferred to the Department of Correctional Services in April 2018.
Dlodlo also said the contract of the acting director-general, which expired in March, has been extended until August 31.
Responding to a question on the appointment for the position of director for the foreign branch of SSA, Dlodlo said Robert McBride’s appointment commenced on July 1.
She recently announced that President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed McBride from July 1 until June 2023. McBride took over from Joyce Mashele who acted in that position.
The minister also said the number of deputy directors-general positions occupied in an acting capacity was four and that “permanent appointment to these positions is work in progress”.
Dlodlo added there were 10 acting persons in general manager positions and the permanent appointment to the position was also work in progress.
Gondwe said it was highly imperative a permanent appointment of a director-general was made.
“I have written to the chairperson of the JSCI today to request that when next the minister appears before the committee she provides us with an urgent update on the process to make a permanent appointment for the position of director-general.
“The director-general is the accounting officer of the SSA and plays a critical role in the reconfiguration of the SSA as recommended by the High Level Review Panel on the State Security Agency,” she said.
She noted with concern that Jafta has been acting for more than two years and his contract was recently extended by another two months until the end of August 2020.
“This is worrisome in that it does not encourage effective leadership, stability and continuity within the SSA.”
Gondwe said it remained to be seen what would happen at the end of August regarding Jafta’s contract.
She added it was of concern that there were four acting deputy directors-general and 10 acting general managers.
“Now more than ever the SSA needs some semblance of stability. Our country is in the midst of what is probably the worst disaster it has ever experienced and we cannot afford to have the one agency that we place such a heavy reliance on for our country’s security being plagued by acting or irregular appointments, especially at the top.”