I have never been so terrified, IGI candidate tells MPs

2016-11-09 17:41
The State Security Agency headquarters in Pretoria. (City Press)

The State Security Agency headquarters in Pretoria. (City Press)

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Cape Town – A candidate vying for the position of the Inspector General of Intelligence on Wednesday likened the interview process to cows going to slaughter.

Andile Barnabas Kilifele was one of the candidates shortlisted in 2015 and was again interviewed for the position on Wednesday. He is currently a stay-at-home father.

A soft-spoken Kilifele threw MPs when he started off with a request for a sip of water.

"Can I please start with my water? I have never been so terrified in my life."

He said he and another candidate had been counting the minutes of the first interview, which had gone on for more than an hour. He was the seventh candidate to be interviewed for the position.

"We were wondering who will be next, the cows to the slaughter," he said.

'I guess I have to answer'

Committee chairperson Charles Nqakula asked him how he would deal with presenting to the president, if he was terrified of the committee.

"If you get the job, and have to present to the sitting president at the time, and you get there and there are a number of other people, would you be terrified? How would you react?" he asked.

Kilifele said he would not be terrified of that part of the job. He had not meant any menace by telling the committee he was terrified.

He was asked about the inspector general’s recommendations and findings.

"I was praying very hard that this would not be asked of me, but I guess I have to answer," Kilifele said.

Asked about a default judgment granted to retailer Woolworths against him, he said it was from a time when he and his wife were going through financial issues.

His wife had been retrenched, he said, and it had been a difficult time. Nqakula said he had not mentioned this in his declaratory form.

'This is an emotional issue for me'

Kilifele was asked about leaving the National Intelligence Agency after five years there.

A weepy sounding Kilifele said it was an emotional topic for him. His voice kept breaking as he explained that his decision was part of a plan to join the private sector.

His application to the Johannesburg bar was rejected with no explanation, he told the committee.

"I’m sorry, but this is an emotional issue for me," he said, close to tears.

"Do you feel this should not have been included in your form?" Nqakula asked him.

Kilifele said he did not think that the committee had meant matters relating to financial institutions when they asked for declarations.

The committee interviewed five candidates on Tuesday and would interview five on Wednesday. 

Read more on:    parliament  |  inspector general

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