Why was intelligence inspector hounded?

2018-05-06 06:00
Setlhomamaru Dintwe

Setlhomamaru Dintwe

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Sometime in March this year, author Jacques Pauw received a call from inspector-general of intelligence Setlhomamaru Dintwe, unaware that the spooks were listening in.

The entire conversation seemed casual and cordial, prompting the State Security Agency (SSA) to conclude that Dintwe was probably providing Pauw with classified state information. Emboldened by a disputed media report stating that Pauw was “given two more reports by the inspector-general”, former SSA director-general Arthur Fraser revoked Dintwe’s security clearance.

The effect was such that Dintwe could not access his office, resulting in the matter being placed before court.

But State Security Minister Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba and President Cyril Ramaphosa shifted Fraser to correctional services and provisionally reinstated the security clearance, pending a revetting process.

The mandate of the inspector-general is to investigate corruption and malfeasance in the intelligence services, and Dintwe had taken up a case against Fraser brought by the DA – which contained information that Fraser deemed to be classified and exclusively belonging to the inspector-general’s office.

This week, City Press received a recording and transcript of what seems to be a telephonic conversation between Pauw and Dintwe, in which the latter requested written confirmation from Pauw that he was not his source.

In his book The President’s Keepers, Pauw makes damning allegations that Fraser looted state millions.

City Press was able to independently verify that the mobile phone numbers appearing on the transcript, dated March 5 at 10:26:23, belonged to both Dintwe and Pauw. On the transcript, Pauw is referred to as “Target” and Dintwe as “Dr”.

SSA spokesperson Brian Dube declined to comment.

Pauw said yesterday that it was “obvious that they’re trying to identify my whistle-blowers, which is shocking enough, considering they blew whistles on very serious crimes and malfeasance”.

“It’s a practice that doesn’t belong in a constitutional democracy. Whistle-blowers are sacrosanct to the exposure of corruption,” he said.

On comments in the Huffington Post report attributed to him, Pauw said: “If those were my words, I never meant to say that the inspector-general gave me two reports, but that the reports were produced by the inspector-general. I would definitely never have told anyone who had given me the reports.”

Pauw said that nothing he exposed “caused harm to any government agency – everything was about corruption, fraud, money laundering and state capture”. According to the document, Dintwe started the conversation with Pauw, whom he refers to as “my brother,” by reassuring him that his office was not investigating him.

“There is no file open for you,” he said, to which Pauw retorted: “Ok, then you’re just about the only person not investigating me.”

Dintwe agreed, adding that “people actually wanted me to be a complainant in your case, I refused”.

Dintwe said in the call that he expected an “inquiry” to be launched against him, leading to his suspension, but he was “not worried”.

“One of the reasons is that when you talk about confidentiality, one of the regulations of the intelligence service is that a faith (sic) of secrecy cannot be used to hide crime.”

Pauw agreed.


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