South Africa: State Security Report (The Sum of All Our Fears) and the Future of SA (Happy Beginnings?)

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

For over 10 years there has been intense speculation about the real role our intelligence services play, and their apparent politicisation. Now there are findings, in black and white, from the High-Level Review on the State Security Panel. It's pretty terrifying, and yet it could be an important and positive milestone in our history.

For most, it has not been so much about how they have operated against opposition parties, but how they have appeared to play a political role regarding the different factions within the ANC. By and large, they appear to confirm the public perception of our intelligence services as being severely politicised, particularly from when Jacob Zuma took over as president in 2009.

All the revelations notwithstanding, the real question may now be what political impact this report will have, and what does it do for the relative strength of the factions within the ANC.

The full report is an interesting case of confirming that public perceptions of intelligence agencies have turned out to be true. Everything you thought and believed about our spooks: that they were acting for Zuma, that they were focused on internal ANC battles rather than your safety, that they abused their resources...

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