Shaik appointment 'bad for democracy'

2009-10-02 22:22

Johannesburg - The appointment of Mo Shaik as Secret Service head on Friday raised the ire of several political parties with some saying the president's close ally got the position as a reward for being loyal to the ruling party.

"This appointment has clearly been made to consolidate the [Jacob] Zuma faction's hold over the South African intelligence community," said Democratic Alliance MP Theo Coetzee in a statement.

He said it was inappropriate for the president's close friend and brother of the man convicted for his "generally corrupt relationship" with the president to be appointed to such a senior post.

But State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele said Shaik was appointed because of his vast experience in intelligence matters.

"He [Shaik] served in the international underground structures of the ANC in Natal. His duties involved collection and analysis of intelligence at the coal face," said Cwele during the announcement in Pretoria.

Was SA Consul General in 1998

Shaik was SA Consul General in 1998 and become the ambassador to the Democratic People's Republic of Algeria.

Between 2003 and 2004, he worked as special adviser to the minister of foreign affairs and head of policy research unit.

Shaik is known to be a close associate of President Jacob Zuma and is said to have played a key role in his campaigning for ANC president, hence opposition parties have labelled his appointment "payback" for the work he has done for the ruling party.

Shaik's brother, Schabir, is the president's former financial adviser.

Schabir was released on medical parole in March this year - shortly before Zuma was elected president - after serving two years and four months of his 15-year prison term.

Congress of the People spokesperson Phillip Dexter said Shaik's appointment was concerning as he had proved himself to be an unprofessional person.

"Shaik has distinguished himself as being unprofessional, partisan and has even breached state security by releasing classified information to the public during the Hefer Commission.

"That President Zuma can so blatantly reward the loyalty of Shaik with this appointment bodes nothing but ill for our democracy," Dexter said.

'Controversial per se'

Echoing Dexter's statement, FF Plus MP Pieter Groenewald said the appointment of Shaik, who has served in the ANC's international underground structures, "is further proof that loyal political supporters are still being appointed to top positions by the ANC leadership".

He said the appointment should have been avoided due to the "controversial family ties his family has with Zuma".

"In the Secret Service industry, controversy should always be avoided and Shaik's appointment is controversial per se," Groenewald said.

The secret service is charged with gathering intelligence beyond South Africa's borders and identifying any potential threats to the country.

Other new bosses

Other appointments made by Cwele on Friday were that of head of the National Intelligence Agency and director general of the State Security Agency.

Lizo Gibson Njenje was appointed NIA boss while Mzuvukile Jeff Maqetuka was appointed director general of the SSA.

The state security agency was formed after the NIA and the SA Secret Service were restructured into a single department.

Cwele said the creation of a single department would centralise command and control of the intelligence structures.

However the NIA and the SA Secret Service will continue to operate in terms of its mandate, each with its own head of services.


Read more on:    cope  |  democratic alliance  |  state security agency  |  freedom front plus  |  nia  |  mo shaik  |  siyabonga cwele  |  schabir shaik  |  jacob zuma

Read News24’s Comments Policy


Inside News24


DA chatting up EFF ahead of elections

The DA in Gauteng is flirting with the Economic Freedom Fighters ahead of the elections, in what could end up as a coalition of strange bedfellows.


Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now! - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia N9

The Nokia N9 has a beautiful one-piece, unibody design where...

From R2899.85

I'm shopping for:


You may be good at organising events but they do take their toll on your energy levels. You may need some time out today just more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.