Parliament fails to muster quorum for Intelligence IG

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The National Assembly yesterday lacked at least 30 MPs to form a two-thirds quorum needed to confirm former National Intelligence Agency (NIA) operative Faith Radebe as the new Inspector General of Intelligence (IGI).

The appointment requires two-thirds of the National Assembly’s 400 members to support the candidate.

The ruling African National Congress, who had proposed Radebe was only able to get 234 of its 264 MPs into the house for the vote, Business Day reports.

“If all the ANC MPs had been in the house then it would have had to persuade only three opposition MPs to vote with it for the matter to be passed,” it said.

The term of the current IGI, Zola Ngcakani, ends on December 31. A new vote may have to stand over to next year as Parliament rises for the year this week. The alternative would be to reconvene Parliament during the summer recess that started yesterday.

Radebe was chosen from a short list of candidates by the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence and its report recommended to President Jacob Zuma that she be appointed.

“It is not known what objections, if any, opposition parties had to Radebe’s nomination as the proceedings of the committee are secret and all members take an oath of confidentiality,” Business Day added.

The Star newspaper earlier this week reported that former NIA and SA Secret Service director general Barry Gilder had also been interviewed for the post.

Other candidates named by The Star newspaper included Gilder’s successor as national intelligence coordinator Silumko Sokupa, retired interception expert Joseph Kotane and intelligence analyst Dennis Dlomo.