New State Security director general named

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Exactly a month after the former director general of the State Security Agency (SSA) left “by mutual agreement”, Arthur Fraser has been named as successor to Sonto Kudjoe.

Minister David Mahlobo on Monday said Fraser’s appointment was made by President Jacob Zuma and came into effect the same day (September 26).
“Fraser is not new in the intelligence community having served in various operational capacities culminating in his appointment as Deputy Director General: Operations in the former National Intelligence Agency (NIA). He also served as a Deputy Director General in the Department of Home Affairs responsible for immigration services. He brings with him immense understanding and knowledge of the intelligence environment and his astute managerial experience will help move the organisation (the State Security Agency) forward,” a statement said.

Mahlobo said in the same statement he believed the new director general who is also the accounting officer for the agency would be “equal to the task and provide the necessary leadership to ensure the SSA is able to deliver on its constitutional and legal mandate of upholding national security”.

Business Day reports that Fraser is “a seasoned intelligence operative” who, at one time, was regarded as a supporter of former president Thabo Mbeki. That was when he headed the then NIA’s operations division. It also said the Mail & Guardian reported in 2009 Fraser had “saved” Zuma’s political life when he allegedly leaked the secret recordings that let him off the hook on corruption charges.

Not unexpectedly, the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) has reacted strongly with chief whip John Steenhuisen saying the appointment comes “despite the fact that the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence (JSCI) has not met since May 26”.

Steenhuisen maintains Fraser’s appointment is another illustration of how “Mahlobo and his cronies continued to have unbridled access to the security services without civilian oversight”.

Steenhuisen said Fraser’s appointment follows an unsuccessful bid by the ruling party to have former JSCI chairman, Cecil Burgess, appointed Intelligence Inspector General.
“The DA blocked Burgess’ appointment and now questions regarding Fraser’s suitability, just like Burgess, must be posed,” the DA chief whip said citing the alleged spy tapes leak as one.

He said Fraser’s involvement in the so-called principal agent network, a covert project run by the then NIA between 2007 and 2010 which was tainted by allegations of misspending and led to a fraud and corruption investigation was another. A third was the securing of “irregular tenders amounting to millions of Rand from the SA Social Services Agency in 2014 for ‘consultancy services’, provided by Resurgent Risk Management, a company co-owned by Fraser with former NIA director general, Manala Manzini”.



Steenhuisen said he will take up the matter of Fraser’s appointment with Charles Nqakula, the newly appointed JSCI chair.