Top cops and spies join forces in business

2014-03-02 14:01

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What do you get when you throw ­together three of the ANC’s top former spies, an apartheid-era intelligence boss and a former commissioner of police?

A board of directors, apparently.

On Wednesday, new company Foresight Advisory Services will host a media event with its impressive new board of directors, which ­includes former intelligence bosses Moe Shaik, Gibson Njenje, Jeff Maqetuka and Neil Barnard, as well as former police commissioner George Fivaz.

The company’s website says it “blends expertise, experience, intelligence gathering and a broad network of contacts to bring you the business outcomes you want”.

It offers “ethically gathered and analysed information about your competitors”.

“The information includes a ­behavioural profile of your competitor so that you can better understand and predict the competitor’s decisions and actions.”

The company lists offices in both Sandton and London on the website.

A company search revealed that Njenje and Nolwazi Qata, a former director of the Land Bank, are listed as directors of the company.

Shaik, currently a development bank executive, said he was invited to be a member of the board and had accepted.

Shaik said the board had not yet held its first meeting. Despite this, there are profiles for all the directors on Foresight ­Advisory Services’ website, which list ­“areas of expertise” for them.

A source with insight into the intelligence community told City Press that Shaik and Njenje still had good intelligence contacts from their days as heads of the international and ­domestic branches of the State

Security Agency, formerly the National Intelligence Agency.

Shaik and Njenje reported to Maqetuka, who was the director-general of the agency.

In late 2011, Njenje, Maqetuka and Shaik all left the agency, reportedly after a dispute with State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele.

The Mail & Guardian reported that one of the key reasons for the breakdown in trust was that Maqetuka, Njenje and Shaik did not see eye to eye with Cwele over an investigation by the intelligence agency into the politically connected Gupta family.

Njenje would later tell the paper that Cwele was talking “nonsense”.

“They [the Guptas] have not been hiding their conduct. If intelligence was not

concerned, we would have been foolish. The concern was how they conducted themselves.”

George Fivaz was appointed ­police commissioner by former president Nelson Mandela in 1995, but retired in 2000.

He was replaced by Jackie Selebi.

Since the dawn of democracy, Fivaz is the only ­career policeman who has been ­given a permanent post as police commissioner.

Fivaz has in the past been critical of the present administration, telling City Press last year that the intelligence community needed “protection” to do its work properly.

But perhaps the most interesting director is Neil Barnard, former head of South Africa’s National Intelligence Service, under then president FW de Klerk.

Barnard was credited with a lot of behind-the-scenes work on South Africa’s negotiated transition to ­democracy.

It was also reported that he told the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that he had warned then prime minister PW Botha in the mid-1980s that members of his security forces “could be murdering and ­torturing anti-apartheid activists”.

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