Majola named State Security Agency D-G

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The State Security Agency (SSA) has a new director-general. She is Thembisile Majola.

Her appointment becomes effective today (1 March) and was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa yesterday along with other senior prosecuting positions. These meet commitments he made in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) in February.

Majola’s most recent government posting was as deputy energy minister. She also held diplomatic positions as ambassador to Senegal, Mauritania, Cape Verde, Gambia and Guinea Bissau. Her experience includes several positions in the Presidency and deputy co-ordinator in the National Intelligence Coordinating Committee (NICOC). She was observer on behalf of President Ramaphosa to trilateral negotiations on the Grand Renaissance Dam on the Nile River during South Africa’s tenure as chair of the African Union in 2020.

A Presidency statement has it that Majola’s appointment is “an important part of work to stabilise the country’s intelligence services. Her extensive experience in government, international relations and security makes her well placed to lead the reform and rebuilding of the SSA”.

“Her appointment is expected to give greater impetus to implementation of the report of the SSA High Level Review Panel and recommendations of the Expert Panel into the July 2021 unrest,” the statement reads.

At the same time Ramaphosa announced senior appointments to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), including a replacement for Advocate Hermione Cronje, who resigned as head of the NPA Investigative Directorate in December.

Advocate Andrea Johnson moves into her suite of offices today (1 March) and according to the Presidency “takes over at an important time in South Africa’s efforts to act decisively against individuals involved in state capture and corruption”.

Johnson is an experienced NPA Senior Deputy Director with over 25 years’ experience, including district, regional and high court prosecutions. She spent 10 years in the Directorate of Special Operations. She worked in the NPA Priority Crimes Litigation Unit and Organised Crime Section as well as serving on the NPA Task Force overseeing implementation of State Capture Report recommendations.

“Johnson will  lead the Investigating Directorate into the next phase of its work as the people of South Africa look to the criminal justice system to bring those responsible for state capture and corruption to book.

“The directorate will draw on the extensive information compiled by the State Capture Commission and is being strengthened through the allocation of more resources,” a Presidency statement read.

Following the departure of former SSA Director-General Arthur Fraser in 2018, the SSA had two acting heads, Loyiso Jafta and Ambassador Gab Msimanga.

President Ramaphosa thanked Jafta and Msimanga being Acting SSA Directors-General after Fraser’s left in 2018 to take up a similar position at the Department of Correctional Services.