Review panel to probe SA's intelligence agencies

Review panel to probe SA's intelligence agencies

The president has given clarity on his recent decision regarding Arthur Fraser during a question session in Parliament.

Cyril Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced a Review Panel to probe South Africa's intelligence agencies, he confirmed on Tuesday.


The president was answering questions in the National Assembly for the second time since his inauguration in February.


The questions stem from a recent public fallout between the now former spy boss Arthur Fraser and the watchdog charged with holding intelligence agencies accountable.


The Inspector General of Intelligence claimed Fraser had deliberately obstructed him in executing his mandate by, among others, withdrawing his security clearance, as Fraser was himself the subject of an investigation, which could lead to criminal charges.


Days before the courts were set to hear an application by Setlhomamaru Dintwe, Ramaphosa moved Fraser to head up South Africa's correctional facilities.

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Ramaphosa has now announced that a panel will assess specifically the State Security Agency as he is "deeply concerned about allegations of corruption and other acts of wrongdoing in some of our intelligence services".


He says he has further instructed the Minister of State Security Dipuo Letsastsi-Duba to address governance and operational challenges at the SSA.


But the Democratic Alliance (DA) wanted to know why Fraser was moved, and not suspended given the allegations and ongoing investigation against him.


"I decided that it is best to move Mr Fraser out so that the review panel that I have spoken about, can get into the depths of the issues within our intelligence service," replied the president.


Fraser's Rogue Unit


The allegations against Fraser stem from the Principal Agent Network (PAN).


The accusations suggest that the PAN network was set up illegally as Fraser had forged a then minister's signature.

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Retired investigative reporter Jacques Pauw details in his latest book 'The President's Keepers' the unit's alleged conduct.


The former Director General of the SSA has denied all the allegations against him, including that he helped relatives to obtain state contracts.


Ramaphosa says the panel will also probe the PAN network to get to the bottom of the allegations.

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