The Democratic Alliance (DA) says the moving of the State Security Agency to the Presidency may lead to further secrecy and has emphasised that parliament’s oversight role regarding the intelligence services is crucial to the health of South Africa’s democracy.
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Cabinet reshuffle last week saw the State Security Agency being placed under the Presidency.
Reaction to the decision to move State Security Agency into the Presidency:
Ramaphosa conceded that the intelligence services and security apparatus had not performed adequately regarding the recent looting and violence.
The DA’s spokesperson on Intelligence Diane Kohler Barnard says the move won’t decrease the public’s suspicions.
“Will there come a time when our rights become politically inconvenient and labelled a threat. This is a real possibility now the President has claimed that there are other countries that place intelligence directly under the head of the country. We will be asking him which countries are those we can’t be seen to be putting the risk of the country to be used.”
In July lobby group, the Right2Know Campaign, called for a clean-up of the State Security Agency saying they failed to help avoid the recent unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
President Ramaphosa, when addressing the nation in July, said that the unrest was pre-planned and orchestrated by individuals seeking to destroy the nation’s constitutional order.
Then the former Head of Counter-intelligence at the SSA, Thulani Dlomo, handed himself over to Durban police following allegations that he is among those responsible for fuelling the chaos.
However, no charges were laid against him.