The President has assigned responsibility for the State Security Agency to Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele.
In a statement, the Presidency says this is in line with President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement in August last year to do away with the Ministry of State Security and assign political responsibility for the State Security Agency to the Presidency.
The statement says the Constitution empowers the President to assume political responsibility for intelligence services other than those of the police or national defence force, or to designate a member of Cabinet to assume this responsibility.
Gungubele will assume responsibilities for the agency while Zizi Kodwa will continue to serve as Deputy Minister.
ln August last year, the Democratic Alliance (DA) argued that the moving of the State Security Agency to the Presidency may lead to further secrecy and emphasised that Parliament’s oversight role regarding the intelligence services is crucial to the health of South Africa’s democracy.
Reaction to the decision to move State Security Agency into the Presidency:
The DA’s spokesperson on Intelligence Diane Kohler Barnard said 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.”