Mufamadi testifies panel found politicisation, factionalisation of the SSA over the past 10 years

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Former Chairperson of the High Level Review Panel into the State Security Agency (SSA), Sydney Mufamadi has testified to the State Capture Commission that the panel found that there had been politicisation and factionalisation of the intelligence community over the past 10 years in contravention of the constitution.

The panel was appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa in 2018 to investigate whether the SSA was conducting itself as a professional national service.

Mufamadi says the malfeasance where the intelligence community was appropriated for factional battles in the African National Congress(ANC), began with a 2009 proclamation by President Jacob Zuma merging the country’s intelligence agencies into the SSA.

“It is difficult for anybody to say if the act of introducing the proclamation is an enabler for wrongdoing and in this instance, wrongdoing ensued after the introduction of the proclamation. It will be difficult for anyone to argue that there is no causal relationship between the two.”

Sydney Mufamadi’s testimony at the State Capture Commission: 

Mufamadi says the reinstatement of special operations within the SSA in 2011 was surprising given the government’s experience with the Principal Agent Network (PAN).

PAN was set up by Former SSA Director Arthur Fraser and according to former Inspector-General of intelligence Advocate Faith Radebe, the organisation was tasked to conduct illegal activities without securing proper authorisation.

It has been claimed by journalist, Jacque Pawu, in his book, The President’s Keepers, that up to R1 billion of taxpayers’ money was wasted on the project.

“To the extent where the investigation of PAN was occasioned by a sense that something went wrong, you would expect that the powers that be would be reticent about a repeat of that and when you come up with special operations later you would take care to avoid a repeat of that. But what we saw was a repeat of what we saw in the context of PAN and more serious, manifestly illegal activities,” says Mufamadi.

Sydney Mufamadi is the first witness to testify after the commission went for a break since Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo had to self-isolate: