Former spooks ‘left state secrets behind’

2014-03-06 16:15

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Former spy bosses involved in a risk analysis company say they won’t use state secrets for private gain and won’t try to be an alternative state security agency.

Moe Shaik, who has been appointed to the board of nonexecutive directors of Foresight Advisory Services, told journalists at the launch in the Radisson Blu Hotel in Sandton last night that none of the company’s work “will entail the passing of official secrets”.

He said the board of directors, which ­includes former intelligence bosses Gibson Njenje, Jeff Maqetuka and Neil Barnard, as well as former police commissioner George Fivaz, would be using their expertise to find knowledge management solutions.

“We are bringing our knowledge without necessarily the secrets that we had from our time in the security agency,” he said.

The company was founded in July last year, almost a year after the Marikana shootings.

Njenje said if more institutions had worked with mining company Lonmin before the Marikana shooting, they could have advised the company “there was imminent danger on the horizon” and they could have been prepared.

But he stressed that this didn’t mean the existing intelligence agencies weren’t doing their job.

Fivaz said the company couldn’t take over the functions of the state because it didn’t have the authority, but they could work side-to-side.

“As South Africans we all have the responsibility to make South Africa a better and a safer place,” he said.

Board members also said they had informed the relevant government agencies about their founding, and they were governed by a set of ethics.

The company has about 30 staff members, many of whom come from the police and state intelligence agencies, as well as from business.

Nolwazi Qata, who has worked with SAA and Woolworths, is the only person on the board with purely business experience.

Last night was the board’s first meeting.

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