DA warns Ramaphosa not to use SSA for political gain

DA warns Ramaphosa not to use SSA for political gain

DA leader John Steenhuisen has warned President Cyril Ramaphosa not to use the State Security Agency to suppress media freedom in the run-up to the elections.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has cancelled his “working trip” to the World Economic Forum’s gathering in Davos, Switzerland.
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Steenhuisen’s remarks come amid claims that the State Security Agency has been targeting the SABC head of news, Moshoeshoe Monare, ahead of the May 29 polls.

City Press reported that the SSA has sought to subject Monare to another round of vetting - two years after he assumed office.

The reports also follow leaked audio from an ANC NEC meeting in which Ramaphosa could be heard complaining about the party's negative media coverage. 

Steenhuisen led a door-to-door campaign in Klerksdorp as today marks 30 days before the general elections.

Steenhuisen said an attack on the media is an attack on democracy.

"They're using the State Security Agency as a tool to intimidate the media and to intimidate the opposition. The media is not reporting negatively; they are showing South Africa what it looks like on the ground, and that's the job of the media.

"The job of the media is to hold us all accountable; that's what they do, and no country survives without a free independent media.

"It will destroy our democracy if our media are put under threat once again by a government who abuses the security apparatus of the state to achieve political objectives."


Steenhuisen said this was why the DA opposed Ramaphosa's decision to put the spy agency in the Office of the Presidency.

In 2021, Ramaphosa disbanded the Ministry of State Security following the July unrest.

"I warned South Africa when Ramaphosa took the state security agency, and he put it in his office. I said this is bad news for the country because you can't politicise that office.

"We saw it happen under Zuma's government when they used the state security agency as a tool for the political advancement of their cause.  It causes people to suffer, and it is a violation of our constitution and the separation of powers."

"I want to send a very strong message today, and that's to the state security agency: Don't do the dirty work of the ANC because if you do that, we will come for you. I've got a message for Ramaphosa: Don't use the state security agency to do your dirty work because we are going to come for you as well."

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