Security ministry silent over spy bosses

2011-09-12 14:16

Johannesburg - The state security ministry on Monday said it would comment only at a later stage on Sunday press reports that Minister Siyabonga Cwele had asked the country's three top intelligence bosses to quit.

"We have taken a decision that we are not going to debate this in the media," spokesperson Brian Dube told Sapa.

"But the minister understands that he is accountable to the public and will later put out a statement to address these matters."

Dube could not say when a statement would be issued.

City Press reported on Sunday that Cwele had asked Gibson Njenje - the head of the State Security Agency - as well as the department's director general Jeff Maqetuka and the head of the SA Secret Service, Mo Shaik, to quit, but said they had refused and sought legal advice.

According to the Sunday Independent, Njenje, Shaik and Maqetuka recently complained to President Jacob Zuma about difficulties in their relationship with Cwele.

Shifting positions

Njenje was reportedly unhappy about "unauthorised" operations, including the surveillance of unnamed Cabinet ministers, that flew in the face of his efforts to ensure that the NIA was not exploited for political purposes.

City Press said Njenje was also unhappy about a decision to grant Cwele's wife Sheryl full intelligence protection throughout her drug trafficking trial. She was found guilty.

On Monday, Njenje's lawyer said he has not been asked to resign, but there has been talk of shifting him sideways.

"That's not correct (being asked to resign)," Jeff Bortz told SABC radio news in an interview.

"According to my client there have been discussions between him and the government regarding a possible alternative position for him in government.

"Those discussions have not been finalised and so at the moment, Mr Njenje remains in his position."

Bortz said he did not know the source of the weekend reports on Njenje's alleged resignation.

"One never knows where reports emanate from and how reports come to surface."

Asked whether the relationship between Njenje and Cwele was strained, he replied: "At the moment, I would imagine [the relationship] to be normal." The Sunday Independent quoted Njenje as saying: "I am in talks with the minister about things that I can't talk about. But I am not aware that I have resigned."

The Cape Times reported on Monday that Parliament's Joint Standing Committee was likely to discuss the issues raised in the weekend press when it meets on Wednesday.

  • daaivark - 2011-09-12 14:20

    SSSHHHHHHH. It's a secret. But seriously, getting rid of the shaik in the grass is a good thing and would be long overdue.

      saabnut - 2011-09-12 14:40

      Contradiction in terms, if ever there was one. "Intelligence bosses" They are all crooked, and the only intelligent thing they could collectively do is disappear.

      Verdade - 2011-09-12 17:16

      Spot on daaivark, seems like whenever there's a Shaik involved there's problems. Well perhaps best would be to fire the lot, in saying that I know it's not possible as they all got some dirt on one another, it's a case of - if you tell, I tell. Just a corrupt bunch of hooligans!

  • willieman - 2011-09-12 14:23

    Honestly speaking,the buck stops with command in chief Mr President,he needs to be decisive

      daaivark - 2011-09-12 14:49

      He's only able to be decisive about his mistakes, as in the issue of Judge Mogoeng. When he blunders he digs his heels in and is unable to accept criticism. Anything concievably useful, he needs to "apply his mind". As if life can be sustained in a vacuum.

  • Terminusest - 2011-09-12 14:31

    And so we see another fine abuse of power shaping up by Mr. "My wife is a crack dealer". Just the kind of man you want as a minister.

      James Weather - 2011-09-12 17:46

      Not just any minister the State SECURITY Minister ....

  • Audacious12 - 2011-09-12 14:48

    This ridiculous. How is it that someone can ask people to resign because his drug dealing, low life scum of a wife was found guilty? Maybe, no definitely he should be investigated with urgency

  • Craigr - 2011-09-12 15:12

    I recommend to fire the whole frigging lot and start again.

  • Ripley - 2011-09-12 15:28

    These clowns are public servants and as such are accountable to us, the tax-paying public of this country. Now get your acts together and don't give us the usual claptrap about not debating the matter in the media. We have a right to know everything about any matter concerning the antics of the overpaid incompetents representing any ministry in our government.

      tryanything - 2011-09-12 18:53

      Not in Africa

  • blcotter - 2011-09-12 17:06

    An investigation should be requested by the opposition parties about the use of any state resources for Shery Cwele and the Minister must repay these costs should he be foung guilty of abuse of human resources and facilities plus be subject of disciplinary action. Is it rumoured that South Africa will open shortly another 100 embassies to enable disgraced public officers to hide away from public scrutiny.

      tryanything - 2011-09-12 18:53

      Human? resources

  • gatvol4corru - 2011-09-12 19:35

    He is trying to hide his involvement! Load the pockets comrades!

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