President Jacob Zuma this week announced the appointment of Dr Setlhomamaru Isaac Dintwe as Inspector-General of Intelligence.
The announcement comes 10 days after the Democratic Alliance (DA) urged him to “hurry up and approve the candidate endorsed by the National Assembly last year”.
The party’s chief whip, John Steenhuisen, said the announcement brings to an end “an excruciating two year wait” to end the vacancy.
A Presidency statement said Dintwe has been appointed for a five year period starting on March 15. Prior to the appointment he was an associate professor of forensic at the College of Law at Unisa’s School of Criminal Justice in Pretoria.
Zuma wished Dintwe all the best with his new responsibilities. This was echoed by State Security Minister, David Mahlobo.
“The Inspector General plays a significant role in the balance and checks and exercising oversight over the important work we do. On behalf of the intelligence community we welcome his appointment and look forward to working with him and his office,” a statement said.
Steenhuisen wants one of the new Inspector General’s first priorities to be an investigation into the appointment of Arthur Fraser as State Security Agency (SSA) Director-General last September.
“Fraser’s suitability for the position is highly questionable as he frequently courted controversy during his stint as the Deputy Director-General of National Intelligence Agency, the predecessor to SSA, involving himself in political intrigue and irregularities. In particular, Dintwe must urgently probe Fraser’s involvement in the ‘Principal Agent Network’, a covert project run by NIA between 2007 and 2010 and tainted by allegations of misspending that prompted an investigation into fraud and corruption by then IGI, Faith Radebe.
“It beggars belief that Fraser was even considered for the position, never mind being appointed to one of the most powerful positions in the intelligence services. Fraser’s dodgy appointment, along with State Security Minister Mahlobo’s close relationship with organised crime figures and his strained relationship with the truth, is fast eroding the integrity of our intelligence services.
“Dintwe has a duty and responsibility to investigate growing dysfunction in the intelligence service, which has been operating without civilian oversight for far too long. We hope he has the courage to do this important work,” the DA chief whip said.