EXCLUSIVE: Intelligence and IPID probe whether secret service account funded #FeesMustFall

Cape Town – The Inspector General of Intelligence and the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) are investigating whether Secret Service account money was used to fund certain aspects of the #FeesMustFall movement.

They are also probing whether the money was accessed under false pretences and stayed in the pockets of those who requested the funds.

This comes as claims mount that government officials were involved in influencing the #FeesMustFall campaign.

'Front company'

According to sources with close knowledge of the matter, crime intelligence operatives were involved in the campaign and set up a front company, apparently to recruit students to infiltrate it.

They said this company offered students bursaries but was in fact used to infiltrate and try and sway activities surrounding the #FeesMustFall movement.

However, this apparent company may simply have been a front to access money.

Secret Service account 'abuse'

On Tuesday, IPID spokesperson Moses Dlamini said that, together with the Inspector General of Intelligence, it was investigating the abuse of the Secret Service account.

"Fees Must Fall is one aspect of it," he said.

"One of the modus operandi is to create demand that is not there and do emergency procurement. The reasons for deviation from normal procurement processes are fictitious."

Dlamini said that when processing self-created demands, payments happened quickly – within seven days.

National police did not immediately respond to News24's queries on the matter.

On Monday night, SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande told News24 that some of his colleagues had fuelled some #FeesMustFall protests.

READ: Some of my own comrades fuelled #FeesMustFall protests - Nzimande

"When Fees Must Fall started in 2015, I discovered in the middle of that, that actually I have far less support in government than I thought", he said.

"Some of my own comrades were actively fuelling student protests as part of [a] factionalist reaction to the communist party."

#FeesMustFall protests broke out around the country about two years ago and peaked in 2016.

The movement has recently started up again with protest action and disruptions at some universities.

Crime intelligence claims

A new book by former Media24 investigative journalist Jacques Pauw, The President’s Keepers, which went on sale last week, also contains information about crime intelligence’s alleged role in the saga. He said crime intelligence had "registered" the #FeesMustFall campaign.

"Crime intelligence recruited students as agents and agreed to pay them cash and their fees, accommodation, cellphones and other expenses in return for infiltrating student organisations that advocated free higher education," the book read.

Pauw’s book said that, by the first half of 2017, there was no longer any money, so agents could not be paid.

The project, he said, therefore ended.

On Sunday, City Press reported that according to a 748-page report by the commission of inquiry into higher education and training, universal, free tertiary education would not be possible in the foreseeable future.

ALSO READ: EXCLUSIVE: Fees won't fall

It said President Jacob Zuma had resisted calls to officially release the report as the Presidency said he was still studying its contents.

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