South Africa: Cash 'Parcels' to Minister, Spying On Media and Infiltration of Anti-Zuma Movement Highlighted in Report On SA Spy Agency

President Cyril Ramaphosa visits the State Security Agency offices in Pretoria on February 15, 2019.
analysis

The long-awaited high-level review panel report on the activities of the State Security Agency (SSA) highlights a plethora of alleged rogue intelligence operations driven by South Africa's spy agency and its controversial Special Operations (SO) unit.

Released by the government late on Saturday afternoon, the high-level review panel report on the activities of the State Security Agency (SSA) found that the agency's Special Operations (SO) unit had become "a law unto itself", especially after President Jacob Zuma moved key personnel to the SSA.

The report includes the following explosive findings on the SSA and its SO unit's allegedly rogue operations:

The SO unit had infiltrated and influenced South Africa's media to "counter bad publicity for the country, the then president [Zuma] and the SSA";

In 2016, the SO unit involved itself in clandestine operations that were clearly intended to derail the political campaigns of Zuma's opponents within the ANC and to disrupt the broader anti-Zuma movement. "During the 2016 ANC January 8 statement in Rustenburg, the unit 'initiated 3 countering operations to impede the distribution of CR17 regalia [and] impede [the] transportation system of dissident groups from GP [Gauteng],'" the panel found, quoting from a document the SO unit had...

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