It’s 2019, which means we don’t really need more evidence of how Jacob Zuma and his cronies perverted the normal course of justice during his time at the helm.
Following the publishing of an explosive report by a high-level review panel into the State Security Agency (SSA), though, we do have more, and it’s another damning indictment of Zuma’s conduct, starting from the moment he took power.
According to News24, the report shows that “Zuma oversaw the creation of parallel structures within the intelligence service to serve his personal and factional ANC party political interests, breaching the Constitution in the process”.
JZ, breaching the Constitution? Shocker.
Another News24 report has broken down the report into nine parts, which will tick the ‘what you should know’ box.
Let’s dive in:
1. Former president Jacob Zuma and ministers he appointed, including Siyabonga Cwele and David Mahlobo [below with the back-neck flaps], as well as senior staff at the SSA, violated the Constitution by overseeing and allowing the repurposing of the spy agency to serve their own personal and political interests, a process that started in 2005.
2. The core purpose of the SSA was changed by Zuma, Cwele and others as part of their faction within the ANC since 2009 when Zuma became president. This shift was removed from the purpose envisaged in the Constitution and legislation.
3. The report found widespread abuse of funds, in violation of regulations, and has recommended increased access to financial information for the Auditor General and chief financial officer as well as sweeping forensic investigations to determine who should be charged and/or disciplined for the misuse of funds.
4. Recommendations include criminal prosecution for Zuma, Cwele, Mahlobo and SSA staffers for the blatant disregard of legislation that governs the operation of intelligence agencies and the Constitution.
At this stage, the rap sheet against Zuma is rivalling that of R. Kelly and Michael Jackson combined.
Given how slowly the wheels of justice turn, that criminal prosecution can just join at the back of the queue.
5. The creation of the SSA, through the amalgamation of the National Intelligence Agency and South African Secret Service, was irregular in terms of the Constitution as it was not established through legislation but rather a presidential proclamation signed by Zuma.
6. Operations undertaken by the SSA’s Special Operations arm under Zuma ally Thulani Dlomo, including spying on unions and civil society organisations, the creation of a fake union in Marikana, influencing the media and conducting politically motivated projects are to be investigated by a multi-disciplinary task team with an eye on criminal prosecutions.
7. The SSA should be split into two agencies, each focused separately and independently on foreign and domestic intelligence, as it was before Zuma’s “monumental blunder” in amalgamating the NIA and the SSA.
There’s a difference between a “blunder” and the willful dismantling and perverting of a state agency for your own good.
The final two…
8. The report recommends changes to outdated legislation governing intelligence agencies to narrow their mandates and effect changes to powers and decision making privileges given to ministers and agency bosses.
9. The SSA relied far too heavily on the application of secrecy to stifle effective accountability and non-compliance which includes “blatant criminality”.
I think we all recognise those final two words.
By the way, about the Guptas:
The report also mentions the Gupta family, who top SSA investigators had warned Cwele in 2011 posed a serious threat to national security due to their relationship with Zuma. Their warnings were ignored and instead, both were axed.
Anybody who spoke out was booted, leaving just the lackeys behind.
If you’re so inclined, you can read the report in full here.
Following the release of the report, JZ took to Twitter to throw around some thinly-veiled threats:
Ah yes, the old ‘apartheid spies’ accusation, as worn out by Cope leader Mosiuoa “Terror” Lekota in his recent Parliament outburst against President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Sorry, Jacob, we ain’t buying what you’re selling.
Now we wait patiently for any legal ramifications to be meted out.
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