Intelligence bigwigs’ show of unity

2012-04-10 13:20

In what appeared to be a show of unity amid reports of squabbles within the intelligence fraternity, State Security Inspector-General of Intelligence Faith Radebe, Justice Minister Jeff Radebe, controversial police intelligence head Richard Mdluli and acting police commissioner Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi attended an Intelligence Services Day event today.

This comes shortly after reports emerged that there was a fallout among them over the withdrawal of charges against Mdluli.

President Jacob Zuma spoke at the Intelligence Services Day commemoration at the State Security headquarters in Pretoria this morning after planting a tree of remembrance.

He was accompanied by a plethora of intelligence bigwigs and relatives of agents who had died.

Also among the dignitaries was State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele.

In what could have been a response to reports of infighting within the intelligence cluster, Zuma assured South Africans that there was no controversy and that South Africans were safe.

“There’s no country that can live and exist without its intelligence. Of course part of the reason we pay very specific attention to it (intelligence) is because it has very specific duty to the state.

“We are therefore happy to be with friends who’ve been with us on this very important occasion and I’m sure you will be with us practically and also be with us spiritually.

“It’s not necessarily what people talk about these days. There’s no controversy here,” said Zuma.

State security spokesperson Brian Dube said the agency would not share the number of agents who had died in each year for security reasons.

In the past month the State Security Agency has seen a number of top spies quitting the service, allegedly at odds with Cwele.

These include Secret Services boss Mo Shaik and head of the State Security Agency Jeff Maqetuka.

City Press has reported that the withdrawal of charges against Mdluli angered Faith Radebe, who received a damning report detailing the rot within police intelligence, headed by Mdluli.

Mdluli is rumoured to have been protected by Zuma and embattled Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, who is facing fresh allegations of abuse of a secret police slush fund.

Mthethwa was notably absent from the event today.

City Press also reported last week that Mkhwanazi was unhappy about Mdluli returning to his old job with close allies reporting that the former wanted to quit over the latter’s return, while Faith Radebe allegedly secretly called for charges to be reinstated.

The media was not allowed to enter the fortified intelligence headquarters.

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