DA wants SABC spy allegations investigated

2015-08-30 12:21
(SABC website)

(SABC website)

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Durban - The Democratic Alliance on Sunday said it had requested the Inspector-General of Intelligence to investigate allegations that the state security agency (SSA) was spying on SABC staff.

"The DA has written to the Inspector-General of Intelligence, Advocate Faith Radebe, to request an investigation,” said DA MP Gavin Davies in a statement.

Earlier this week, a union lifted the lid into alleged suspicious activity taking place at the state broadcaster’s Durban office.

President of the Broadcast Electronic Media and Allied Workers’ Union (Bemawu) Hannes du Buisson wrote a letter to SABC CEO Frans Matlala on Tuesday, requesting answers about incidents whereby the national intelligence agency apparently instructed SABC staff to leave their offices while operators spent time going through offices for an unknown purpose.

“Employees were instructed to keep quiet about this and were threatened with action should they tell anybody," said Buisson.

He said the SABC staffs were fearful that surveillance equipment might have been installed.

On Sunday, Davies alleged that his party was worried the alleged searches were targeting whistleblowers at the public broadcaster who might have revealed apparent irregularities in the SABC’s management.

Davies said in his letter, he had asked Radebe to investigate whether state security agency officials were engaged in surveillance of SABC journalists and support staff. If this was confirmed, he wanted to know if there were legitimate reasons behind their possible involvement.


Furthermore, Davies asked that, if indeed the SSA was involved, he wanted to know who had initiated the action, and if it had stemmed from the SABC.

Earlier this week, the SSA would not be drawn to confirm or deny whether a secret operation was taking place at the SABC's Durban offices.

A SSA spokesperson previously said that staff should ask the SABC if the broadcaster had done anything in the past that would have resulted in the involvement of the department now.

"The SABC needs to explain to its staff what is happening. The allegations that the agency was working there emanated from the staff.

"The staff wrote to the CEO asking for an explanation, so the CEO must deal with the questions," SSA spokesperson Brian Dube said on Thursday.

"The SABC should explain to its employees what it is that, the SABC itself has done in the past which might have involved an agency like ours."

Read more on:    da  |  sabc  |  durban  |  privacy

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