The opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) party is seeking to obtain a report from the State Security Agency (SSA) on the recent looting and unrest in South Africa.
The DA said it was submitting an application in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) for the intelligence report(s) which State Security Minister Ayanda Dlodlo claimed she handed over to Law Enforcement prior to the recent looting and unrest, but which Police Minister Bheki Cele says he never received.
“It is critical that South Africans know the Who, When and What of this catastrophic failure of our security cluster to protect citizens and property: Who knew upfront about the looting and unrest, when did they know it, and what did they then do about it? These questions apply to all in the security cluster, but specifically to President Cyril Ramaphosa, State Security Minister Ayanda Dlodlo, Police Minister Bheki Cele and Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula,” the DA said.
If Minister Cele received intelligence on the planned looting and failed to act on it, he could be in contravention of the National Strategic Intelligence Act (NSIA), the DA pointed out.
“Minister Dlodlo should therefore publicly release the intelligence report(s) which she claims were made available to law enforcement, because such reports would likely reveal ‘evidence of a failure to comply with the law’ by the SAPS. And this would most certainly be in the public interest.
“If the intelligence reports reveal that they suffered these extensive losses due to a failure by SAPS to comply with the law, then they should have recourse to legal action against Bheki Cele and other SAPS officials,” the DA said in a statement, adding that the statement by the Acting Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshaveni, that it is not in the country’s interest to reveal what intelligence, if any, the police had prior to the unrest “is simply outrageous. Ours is a Constitutional democracy premised on the principles of openness and transparency, where citizens have the right to access the information they need to hold elected officials accountable for catastrophic failures like the ones our country recently witnessed.”