Former State Security Minister David Mahlobo has denied all allegations made against him by witnesses at the state capture commission on Friday.
Mahlobo was testifying at the inquiry responding to allegations by a number of State Security Agency (SSA) officials. They had accused him of political interference in the SSA’s work, presiding over illegal covert operations and siphoning millions of rand from the security agency.
According to the witnesses, Mahlobo – during his tenure as minister between 2014 and 2017- presided over covert operations that saw the agency conduct illegal operations and become mired in factional battles of the ANC.
The former minister rejects the claims.
“I never ran operations, but equally so, there is no law that you can’t do this or you can’t do that. Going forward, we might want to discuss the question, what may be the role of politicians? But also, don’t discuss the role of politicians without understanding what is intelligence,” he said.
Mahlobo says those who have made the accusations against him have not produced a shred of evidence to back their claims.
Mahlobo’s testimony in the video below:
Project Veza is an initiative that is currently investigating the goings on and systems of the SSA.
Mahlobo narrowed in on a number of operations conducted by the Directorate of Special Operations, including the so-called “Operation Justice” ostensibly aimed at influencing judges. He dismissed allegations by a witness only known as Stephen, who claimed that Mahlobo had instructed him to bribe a judge.
Mahlobo says Stephen is still in the employ of the State Security Agency.
“As I stand here without an fear or favour or contradiction I know that there is a judge they are trying to frame when a judge has never received money and I want to place it on record I have never given an instruction that a judge must be bought and in terms of my knowledge, there is not even a single judge that has been bought. It does not necessarily mean that these judges, the honourable judges, you don’t have your missteps, the balance and checks that are there are very adequate.”
Confronted with a number documents on which his signature was appended in 2016, and which listed a number of projects, Mahlobo told Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo that he had power to approve the agency’s overall budget, not individual projects.
Mahlobo has also denied allegations that he received R4.5 million on three occasions through a witness only known as Dorothy at his official residence and another bag of money in Cape Town.
It has been alleged the money delivered to Mahlobo was destined for use by former President Jacob Zuma.
“The system is clear. Those who go and take money and those who receive money, those internal controls are there. You receive it, you sign for it – both who gave it and then that one, and if there is such, the person who alleges that, they will give you a time and a date. And there is always a date that those who receive it and those who deliver it. They all sign,” said the former minister.
Dorothy, according to Mahlobo, has subsequently filed an affidavit renouncing these claims and this has been withheld by the commission’s legal team. Justice Zondo says they will be investigate the former minister’s claim.
More of Mahlobo’s testimony in the video below: