‘Cleared’ Dlomo gets top spy boss job

2013-08-03 00:00

CAPE TOWN — South Africa’s top spy bosses have been appointed by President Jacob Zuma and State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele.

Former acting director-general and adviser to the State Security Agency (SSA) Dennis Dlomo was appointed intelligence co-ordinator at the National Intelligence Co-ordination Committee (Nicoc).

Dhlomo, who is also known for his close links to Zuma, was investigated for alleged corruption involving R45 million.

He was appointed acting director-general of the SSA last year in spite of an investigation into him by the KwaZulu-Natal treasury.

He had initially resigned from the KZN’s Social Development department after an internal audit found that he had interfered in tender procedures.

It found that Dhlomo had awarded tenders worth R45 million and was accused of accepting a bribe of R1 million for a tender.

The audit recommended that the case be referred to the Special Investigating Unit.

David Maynier, DA MP, had in June asked that Dhlomo’s appointment be investigated.

Faith Radebe, inspector-general of intelligence, replied to Maynier in January that the investigation had been completed and had found nothing irregular in Dhlomo’s appointment.

Cwele said seven other appointments included:

•Ambassador to Egypt Gladys Sonto Kudjoe as SSA director-general;

• Acting director in the foreign branch Simon Ntombela as director of the domestic branch of the SSA; and

• Dr Batandwa Siswana as director of the foreign branch of the SSA.

Siswana is currently chief operations officer in the presidency.and cabinet’s deputy secretary.

Other appointments in the domestic branch of the SSA included Nozuko Bam and Thulani Dlomo as deputy directors-general for domestic collection and counter-intelligence respectively.

In the foreign branch, Joyce Mashele was appointed deputy director-general for collection, Africa, while Matshidiso Mhlambo was appointed deputy director-general for the rest of the world.

Cwele said none of the new appointees had criminal records.

“All of them still have valid security clearances. All due processes and selection procedures were followed,” he said.

The new appointments followed a transformation project of the country’s intelligence, announced in 2009, Cwele said.

All the appointments were made without the posts being advertised and it appears no other candidates were considered.

When asked about the transparency of the appointments Cwele said that posts were not advertised because of security reasons.

There were no intelligence agencies in the world that advertised vacancies, he said.

The government said on its news website that the appointments were made public to help dispel the perceptions of secrecy surrounding the SSA.

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