11 April 2018

South Africa: DA Calls On President Ramaphosa to Suspend Arthur Fraser Pending an Investigation

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(file photo)
press release

The DA is shocked that the Inspector-General of Intelligence (IGI), Dr Setlhomamaru Dintwe, has been forced to approach the High Court to interdict the Director-General of the State Security Agency (SSA), Arthur Fraser, from interfering in the work of his Office.

We will be writing to President Cyril Ramaphosa to immediately put Fraser on suspension pending an investigation into the serious allegations levelled against him, including threatening and intimidating the IGI, not cooperating with his Office, and employing "underhand[ed] tactics".

Dr Dintwe rightly points out that the IGI "is established by Section 210 of the Constitution of South Africa [to] ... perform civilian oversight of the intelligence services", and his Office should be able to fulfil this vital role unencumbered and free from intimidation.

On 18 May 2017, the DA lodged a formal complaint with the IGI's Office, in terms of section 7(cA) of the Intelligence Services Oversight Act (40 of 1994), requesting an investigation into Fraser's involvement with the Principle Agent Network (PAN) programme which he, as the then-Deputy Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, initiated and oversaw from 2007 to 2009.

Indeed, the DA was aware of his past when then-President Jacob Zuma appointed him in September 2016 and was vehemently opposed it.

Since then our worst fears have been realised with the politicisation of the intelligence services, perhaps epitomised by the dubious intelligence report that was used as a pretext to fire then-Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, and his deputy in March 2017. In September of the same year we asked the IGI to urgently probe allegations of a covert unit operating within the SSA targeting Zuma's political opponents and reporting directly to him and then-Minister of State Security, David Mahlobo.

The time has come for President Ramaphosa to reclaim our intelligence services and he can start by putting Fraser on suspension pending an investigation. Fraser has been exposed for the thug he is by opposition parties, journalists, civil society and now the IGI. It is now up to Ramaphosa to act.

John Steenhuisen MP

Chief Whip of the Democratic Alliance

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