Intelligence watchdog's court bid goes ahead despite removal of top spy

Intelligence watchdog's court bid goes ahead despite removal of top spy

Arthur Fraser was removed as the Director-General of the State Security Agency two days before an urgent application regarding his alleged unlawful conduct was set to be heard.

Top Secret Stamp

South Africa's controversial top spy has been moved to head up the country's prisons.


Arthur Fraser has been appointed Director-General of Correctional Services, while Loyiso Jafta will oversee the State Security Agency (SSA) in the interim.


"The transfer follows consultation between President Cyril Ramaphosa, the Minister of State Security, Ms Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba and Mr Fraser on the suitable location of the Director-General," reads a statement by the State Security Ministry.


The move comes only two days before an urgent court application was to be heard, asking for an interdict against Fraser.


The Inspector General of Intelligence (IGI) Setlhomamaru Dintwe claims Fraser has acted unlawfully in attempts to obstruct him in executing his mandate.

ALSO READ: Intelligence watchdog's application to be heard on Thursday


Dintwe is investigating, among others, allegations against Fraser himself and has been unable to obtain the necessary information from the SSA - as various letters between the two indicate.


Fraser stands accused of allegedly fraudulently copying the signature of a minister to set up an illegal intelligence network, improperly awarding tenders to family friends, and being party to the establishment of an illegal intelligence unit.


Meanwhile, Fraser has also removed Dintwe's security clearance, leaving him unable to access any confidential documents or even enter his own offices.


"You are hereby advised that as your security clearance has been withdrawn, you are no longer authorised to access classified information or restricted premises," Fraser wrote in a letter to Dintwe in early April.


While the State Security Department says it will wait for instruction on Thursday's court application, lawyers representing Dintwe insists the matter will go ahead as "issues raised in the application require urgent determination".


Long-term intelligence oversight


Apart from the relief sought against Fraser, Dintwe also wants the court to effect changes to the specific laws in questions, to prevent interference in future.


In his application, Dintwe explains he was denied a request for funding to fill six critical vacancies.


In a letter responding to the request, Fraser informs Dintwe that, "Regrettably, the State Security Agency is unable to adhere to your request".


Dintwe also lists other budgetary issues with the SSA and as a result asks for his budget to be "separated from that of the intelligence services".


"The National Treasury is directed to allocate a separate budget for the Office of the Inspector General of Intelligence," reads his submission to the court.


He further wants the court to declare sections of the Intelligence Services Oversight Act and the National Strategic Intelligence Act unconstitutional, as it empowers the Director-General to interfere with his mandate.

Fraser says he denies all the claims against him.

The application is set to be heard at 10:00 on Thursday.

Listen to DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen, who laid one of the complaints against Fraser, respond to the decision below:

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