‘State security agencies merged to reverse gains of Mbeki’s regime’

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Former State Security Agency (SSA) Director-General Jeff Maqetuka has told the State Capture Commission that he believes the 2009 rush to amalgamate the country’s intelligence services was aimed at eroding the gains of Mbeki’s regime.

The South African Secret Service, the National Intelligence Agency, the South African National Academy and the National Communications Centre were merged into the the State Security Agency (SSA).

Former President Jacob Zuma had taken over as the country’s president.

Maqetuka served as the SSA DG from 2009 to 2012. He detailed what he called his constructive dismissal, having to make way for staffers dancing to Zuma’s tune.

Maqetuka revealed that he had raised concern about plans to amalgamate security agencies, only relying on a proclamation and not legislation as required by the Constitution.

Maqetuka said coming in as the new administration, the Zuma faction wanted to assert its authority.

He revealed that during his tenure at the state security agency, allegations made by then Deputy Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula were taken seriously.

Last year, the inquiry heard testimony that the SSA had initiated a probe into the Gupta family when it emerged Mbalula knew about his inclusion in the cabinet in 2009, allegedly from one of the Guptas. The probe was subsequently halted by the then State Security Minister, Siyabonga Cwele. Maqetuka says he first met Gibson Njenje and Mo Shaik at the same press conference.

“Because at that time I didn’t know who else was going to be in this SSA then I met Njenje and Shaik and we greeted each other and then it came out that all us didn’t know what we were going to be until the actual press conference, it was in the actual press conference that Minister Cwele then informed the public about our appointments.”

Below is Maqetuka’s testimony before the commission:

Ranjeni Munusamy makes  U-turn on cross examining whiteness

Meanwhile, there was a surprise development as proceedings commenced. Journalist Ranjeni Munusamy announced a U-turn on her earlier decision to cross-examine witnesses.

In 2019, former crime intelligence official Colonel Dhanajaya Naidoo and Hawks investigator Kobus Roelofse testified that Munusamy was one of the journalists who allegedly benefitted from the coffers of SSA.


Her lawyer Duncan Wild told the commission’s chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo that it had become apparent to Munusamy that the two witnesses did not have direct evidence linking her to any wrongdoing.

However, he says, she is still prepared to testify to clear her name.