File picture: African News Agency (ANA)
File picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Parliament gives greenlight to investigate intelligence failures over looting and riots

By Thabo Makwakwa Time of article published Aug 11, 2021

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Durban - PARLIAMENT gave a green light to investigate the allegations of failures in the intelligence units to detect and provide information on the recent looting in Kwazulu-Natal and Gauteng provinces.

The announcement was made yesterday to the South African News Agency. This comes after there were contradictory statements between the police and state security ministers who blamed each other after the eruption of riots in the country.

“The Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence (JSCI) chairperson Jerome Maake has recently received approval from the Houses of Parliament to embark on an inquiry into allegations of intelligence failures by the intelligence services.

“Maake said that following the outbreak of the events of violence and looting that took place in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng provinces in July, which some South Africans attributed to the intelligence failure, the JSCI engaged with the intelligence services on 15 and 16 July 2021 to perform its oversight role, as outlined in the Constitution and the law.”

The committee received full briefings on the July unrests from the intelligence services. The committee explained that not all information would be disclosed to the public in the investigations.

“The inquiry will only be confined to the mandate of the JSCI as contained in the Constitution, the applicable legislation, and Joint Rules of Parliament. Some information will be contained in the annual report of the JSCI to be published soon. The High-Level Review Panel (HLRP) report reflects the challenges in the intelligence services and what needs to be done.”

Maake continued: “The Legacy Report of the Fifth Parliament also indicates the same challenges. However, the JSCI is concerned with the slow implementation of the recommendations and has expressed its position to the appropriate implementing authorities.

“It is for this reason that several special meetings were held in Pretoria with the Minister of State Security and the State Security Agency (SSA), even at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic as reflected in the annual report of the JSCI which is going to be published. The committee continues to urge the SSA to implement the recommendations without delay and to continue reporting every quarter,” Maake said.

Speaking on other investigations with regards to the proceedings at the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the Allegations of State Capture, Corruption, and Fraud in the Public Sector, including organs of state, Maake said the JSCI is following and awaits the report of the commission.

Meanwhile, Maake welcomed the changes made by President Cyril Ramaphosa during his cabinet reshuffle.

He commended the relocation of SSA in the Presidency, noting this is in line with international best practices where the most advanced intelligence agencies report directly to the president.

Daily News

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