SACP joins call for Arthur Fraser suspension

2018-04-16 21:14
Arthur Fraser. (Paul Herman, News24)

Arthur Fraser. (Paul Herman, News24)

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The SACP added its voice to those organisations calling for the head of the director general of the State Security Agency (SSA), Arthur Fraser.

"The South African Communist Party strongly condemns what appears to be abuse of power and unlawful conduct by Arthur Fraser, the director general of the State Security Agency (SSA)," SACP spokesperson Alex Mashilo said in a statement on Monday.

Last week Inspector General of Intelligence Setlhomamaru Dintwe took the unusual step of releasing a statement in which he alleged that the SSA director general was trying to scupper his investigation into him.

He also lodged a court application challenging the withdrawal of his security clearance. The case will be heard on Thursday in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

In his replying affidavit, Fraser hit back and alleged that the investigation into him was politically motivated and that Dintwe shared classified information with political parties, particularly the DA.

The SACP called for "decisive action" to get to the bottom of Fraser's conduct and "what actually he could be trying to conceal".

Fraser 'clearly implicated'

"Fraser's attempt at frustrating the inspector general of intelligence (IGI), Setlhomamaru Dintwe, seems to be an act of desperation and sabotage," reads Mashilo's statement.

"It could as well be possible proof of abuse of intelligence services for factional purposes as part of the wider corporate state capture agenda that the SACP was the first to expose."

He said Fraser's conduct came across as "aimed at forcing an abortion of the IGI's investigations into corruption and abuse of intelligence services at the SSA".

"The IGI has made it clear that Fraser is implicated in the allegations being investigated. As South Africans, we should not delink Fraser's conduct from attempts at frustrating the IGI's work."

He said the SACP wants Dintwe to carry out his work without fear or favour, and without interference from anybody.

READ: Dintwe can’t be trusted with state secrets – Fraser

"The party is, therefore, calling for decisive action by relevant authorities to get to the bottom of Fraser's conduct and what actually he could be trying to conceal by handicapping the IGI's work," Mashile said.

"The [SACP] has a direct interest in efficient and professional state security services. It is common knowledge that the SACP has, for a while now, laid complaints to the IGI about rogue intelligence operations directed not only at the party's leadership but other South Africans who became outspoken against corporate state capture."

Parallel intelligence network

Earlier on Monday, the DA denied that it had received confidential information from Dintwe, as Fraser suggested.

Last week the party wrote to President Cyril Ramaphosa to ask him to suspend Fraser pending the investigation. DA chief whip John Steenhuisen on Monday said he would also ask Ramaphosa and Minister of State Security Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba to urgently revoke Fraser's security clearance.

Last week the transparency watchdog Right2Know said in a statement that Fraser must be fired. The South African Security Workers' Union said Fraser shouldn't have been issued with security clearance due to the allegations against him and he should be investigated, and suspended by Ramaphosa.

ALSO READ: Arthur Fraser saga: Inspector-General of Intelligence details intimidation allegations

In May 2017, the DA lodged a formal complaint with the office of the IGI asking Dintwe to investigate Fraser's involvement with the Principal Agent's Network, which he oversaw as the deputy director general of the SSA from 2007 to 2009.

Then, in September 2017 the DA also asked Dintwe to expand the scope of his investigation to also include allegations of Fraser's potential involvement in a covert unit operating within the SSA targeting political opponents of former president Jacob Zuma.

In his explosive book, The President's Keepers, investigative journalist Jacques Pauw implicated Fraser in the running of a parallel intelligence network during a previous stint at the spy agency before 2010, wasting millions of taxpayers' money.

Last week, Pauw told News24 that Dintwe requested a letter from the author in early March to confirm that neither he nor his staff had given Pauw the state security documents. Pauw complied.

Read more on:    state security agency  |  arthur fraser

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