‘State Security Agency suffered from selective adherence to the law’

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Acting State Security Agency Director General, Loyiso Jafta, says the SSA has suffered from selective adherence to the law, employees being given illegal instructions as well as corruption and theft.   

Jafta, who was testifying at the State Capture Commission, was appointed in 2018. He confirmed the use of the SSA for political as well as factional struggles within the ANC.  

Former Chairperson of the High-Level Panel of Review into the SSA, Sydney Mufamadi, outlined this in his testimony yesterday.  

Minister of State Security Ayanda Dlodlo sought to muzzle Jafta from giving evidence at the State Capture Commission on Tuesday. Dlodlo through her lawyers, asked that proceeding be adjourned to allow her to file an affidavit relating to the content of Jafta’s evidence which she said may compromise state security.  

However, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo dismissed the application.

“There has been enough time since she received Mr Jafta’s affidavit last evening until this morning, for her to say I have concerns that Mr Jafta’s evidence may compromise national security (and it) is based on the following, which is in the affidavit; it’s 123; here are the paragraphs we are concerned with. That has not been done and you have made reference to certain other points including section 12.1. I don’t think they assist. So, as things stand, I am going to dismiss the application.”

Finally on the stand, Jafta confirmed the testimony of Mufamadi, regarding the use of the SSA in political battles.

“Particularly, when we go towards an election there would be projects intended and funded to enhance the political fortunes of the ANC and these projects were prosecuted. There is Amcu that, at the time, appeared to be much stronger than NUM and then the State Security Agency is used … is employed to weaken Amcu.”

State Capture Inquiry hears State Security Agency related evidence from Mr Loyiso Jafta – Part 1:

Jafta says the organisation was indeed involved in illegal operations including the taking into custody without due process of former President Jacob Zuma’s wife MaNtuli in 2015.  

The SSA had launched an investigation into allegations that MaNtuli was behind a plot to poison her husband.   

Jafta says there is, however, no evidence that Zuma gave such an instruction or knew about action taken against MaNtuli.

“It does happen and it must have happened that functionaries at various levels would anticipate what would be agreable to the person of the president, what would please the president and take such initiatives regardless of what the law says. So, I don’t want to create an impression that former President Jacob Zuma was always aware and consented to many of the things that were done presumably for his benefit, either in his private capacity or in his public capacity.”

The Acting DDG bemoaned the lack of proper governance of SSA between 2008 and 2018 with millions of rands siphoned off through advance payments for projects, and employees not being held accountable for their actions. 

To be sure, I believe money was stolen. People enriched themselves. Very fictitious projects could have been implemented and we have evidence to prove that. But there are other resources that were abused – assets, firearms. These are resources of the State Security Agency of the state. The state gives us these firearms in order to enable us to discharge our duties from a defensive point of viewbut when you have a situation where firearms of the state are given to non-SSA members that constitutes resource abuse.

In his just under three years in office, Jafta says he and his leadership team have sought to turn the ship around. The interventions they have instituted include stopping illegal projects such as providing VIP services to politically-connected individuals – a function legally mandated to the SAPS.  

He says all those owing the organisation money have had to return it even if it meant using their pensions.  

Issues of oversight still need to be addressed as well as the structure of the institution, which puts enormous power in a few hands, according to Jafta.    

State Capture Inquiry hears State Security Agency related evidence from Mr Loyiso Jafta – Part 2: