Security minister: Spies operate within Constitution

2014-08-14 12:39

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State Security Minister David Mahlobo says South Africa’s spies and state security instruments are conducting their “tradecraft” within the spirit of the Constitution and the law.

This was revealed last night, when Mahlobo said he had asked the inspector general of intelligence, Faith Radebe, to conduct an inquiry into a rogue spy ring in the State Security Agency.

Last week, City Press revealed the existence of the Special Operations Unit of the security agency, where rogue agents allegedly use state resources to conduct dirty tricks campaigns, smuggle cigarettes and disgrace top civil servants.

This includes allegedly employing convicted drug dealer Glenn Agliotti to recruit tobacco smugglers, as well as a campaign to try and reinstate suspended police crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli and disgrace former top prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach.

Mahlobo said he had asked Radebe to “establish the facts and get to the bottom of the allegations made about members of the security agency”.

While news of the rogue employees has rocked the South African intelligence community, Mahlobo has reiterated that “we remain accountable and would conduct our tradecraft within the spirit of the constitution and the law.

“As indicated before, we are committed to professionalise the service and will deal decisively with ill-discipline irrespective of any person involved.”

State security spokesperson Brian Dube told City Press that the investigation was essentially to “determine the extent to which any member of the agency has behaved, in the conduct of his or her work, inconsistently with the legal framework of the agency and the country”.

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