Parties raise red flags over new spy boss

2016-09-27 16:27
DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen. (Paul Herman, News24)

DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen. (Paul Herman, News24)

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Cape Town - The Democratic Alliance and Freedom Front Plus on Tuesday raised concerns over Arthur Fraser’s appointment as the new director general of the State Security Agency.

The appointment illustrated Minister David Mhlobo’s unbridled access to the security services without civilian oversight, DA chief whip John Steenhuisen said.

Mahlobo announced Fraser’s appointment to the top post on Monday and expressed confidence in his ability to handle the new job.

Fraser’s appointment became effective as of Monday, September 26.

Steenhuisen said Fraser had been appointed despite the fact that Parliament’s joint standing committee on intelligence had not met since May.

He said serious questions regarding Fraser's suitability for the position had to be posed.

Fraser frequently courted controversy while working as deputy director general at the National Intelligence Agency, including allegedly leaking the so-called "spy tapes" to President Jacob Zuma, Steenhuisen said.

The DA intended asking the intelligence committee chair for a meeting to discuss Fraser’s appointment.

"We must ensure transparency and accountability in South Africa’s intelligence services and cannot allow the appointment of dubious individuals to compromise its impartiality and independence."

FF Plus MP Pieter Groenewald said Fraser’s appointment was "proof that President Jacob Zuma is still trying to set up personal loyalists in strategic positions".

Groenewald said it was common knowledge that Fraser had allegedly played a major role in the "spy tapes" saga, which led to the 783 corruption charges against Zuma being dropped in 2009.

He said the SSA should be more concerned about keeping the country safe, and make that its first priority.

"And not keeping President Zuma in his office," he said.

Read more on:    da  |  ff plus  |  politics  |  security

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