DA's SABC break-in accusations 'politically desperate' - SSA

2017-04-26 10:11
DA MP Phumzile van Damme (Jaco Marais/Netwerk24)

DA MP Phumzile van Damme (Jaco Marais/Netwerk24)

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Cape Town – The State Security Agency (SSA) has labelled an accusation by the Democratic Alliance that the SSA was possibly involved in a recent break-in at the SABC's Parliament offices as "reckless".

The broadcaster's offices in the Marks Building had been broken into late on Friday night, where at least five laptops were stolen.

There was no sign of forced entry, Parliament spokesperson Molotho Mothapo said over the weekend.

SSA spokesperson Brian Dube on Tuesday said the agency noted with "great concern" the insinuation made by DA MP Phumzile van Damme that the agency may have been involved.

"We take great exception at such reckless statements that undermine not only our institution but the state as well," Dube said.

"To suggest that an organ of state could be involved in a break-in at the offices of another organ of state demonstrates new levels of political desperation."

Van Damme last week called on the Inspector General of Intelligence Dr Isaac Dintwe to investigate the SSA's "possible involvement" in the incident.

She said the break-in was "stunningly suspicious", and part of a much bigger, co-ordinated campaign to intimidate and threaten SABC journalists.

Dube said Van Damme and the DA should let the police handle the matter.

"The matter is currently being investigated by the authorities and anyone who has information should approach the police."

'Not tampered with'

The DA would ask Parliamentary Speaker Baleka Mbete to investigate the circumstances under which the theft took place – considering the security measures already in place.

Mothapo on Sunday said the security lock cables of the laptops which were taken had not been tampered with, "suggesting that someone with a key detached the laptops".

He said there had been various employees of the SABC still working at the time.

Parliament’s security services would study the video footage of the night.

The Right2Know campaign on Tuesday said the recent break-in was an attack on both the public broadcaster and Parliament itself.

R2K said the incident has happened in the broader context of harassment of SABC workers, as well as unexplained break-ins at the offices of the Chief Justice, unionists, progressive academics and students associated with protest movements.

R2K said the issue of security at Parliament must be addressed.

Read more on:    da  |  ssa  |  cape town  |  politics  |  security

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