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Top State Security Agency post vacant and still no Intelligence Inspector General

State Security Agency director general leavesThe departure of State Security director general “by mutual agreement” has been questioned by the Democratic Alliance (DA) with the official Parliamentary opposition claiming she was forced out.

Last week a statement was posted on the State Security Agency (SSA) website announcing the departure of director general Ambassador Sonto Kudjoe. The announcement was not posted to the websites of either the Government Communication Information System (GCIS) or SAnews, government’s official news agency.

In the statement State Security Minister David Mahlobo thanks her for leading the SSA over the past three years as well for making “a significant contribution toward ensuring SSA fulfils its constitutional and legal mandate of upholding the country’s national security”.

Kudjoe’s departure leaves Mahlobo and Deputy Minister Ellen Molekane as the top two custodians of national security. This is because in addition to the director general’s abrupt departure the country has been without an Inspector General (IG) of Intelligence since March last year. That was when Faith Radebe resigned. Parliament’s joint Standing committee on Intelligence (JSCI) has not yet named a candidate to replace her.

“The DA is most concerned about developments relating to state security,” the party’s chief whip, John Steenhuisen, said.

“It is our concern that the state security apparatus, under the leadership of Minister Mahlobo, is being used as a political tool to clamp down on political opponents of the ANC. It is my information that the director general did not resign under her own volition but was essentially forced into this position through disagreements with the Minister on operation and management of the SSA.”

Explaining what he calls “political dark acts,” Steenhuisen said the SSA had deployed signal jammers in the National Assembly and “manufactured a smear campaign” for candidates of the Public Protector position.

“It is my information there will be further purging in the SSA of persons opposed to the executive-minded plans of the Minister,” he said adding the “dragging of feet” on the appointment of an IG was further testimony of “activities targeted at driving President Jacob Zuma’s political agenda”.

Kudjoe will, according to the statement “pursue opportunities elsewhere” and “an acting appointment will be announced in due course”.
 

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