Abusing security

2009-03-02 00:00

FORMER head of Britain’s security services (MI5), Dame Stella Rimington, sternly criticises as “huge overreaction” measures taken by Western governments after 9/11. She believes that security has been over-politicised.

While South Africa has not yet been affected by terrorism, the issue of national security has been similarly abused. The removal of National Prosecuting Authority head, Vusi Pikoli, and the demise of the Scorpions, have both been justified on flimsy security grounds.

Rimington’s authoritative and forthright views hold an important message for South Africa. National security involves the best interests of all citizens and institutions. When it is abused for party political faction fighting, civil liberty is at risk and the foundations of the democratic state are weakened.

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