Crime Intelligence to investigate 'bugging' of News24 journalist

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Lieutenant-General Yolisa Mokgabudi, the acting head of CI.
Lieutenant-General Yolisa Mokgabudi, the acting head of CI.
  • Crime Intelligence acting head Lieutenant-General Yolisa Mokgabudi says she has requested an investigation into allegations a News24 journalist was illegally bugged. 
  • The decision follows letters from News24's lawyer to CI requesting all illegal surveillance to cease immediately. 
  • Investigative journalist Jeff Wicks received reliable information he was the subject of ongoing interception and surveillance operations by CI officials to establish his sources. 

An investigation has been requested into the potentially illegal surveillance and monitoring of a News24 journalist by Crime Intelligence (CI) officials.

READ | Rogue Crime Intelligence cops 'bug' News24 investigative journalist

In a letter addressed to News24's lawyer, Willem de Klerk, on Wednesday, the acting head of CI, Lieutenant-General Yolisa Mokgabudi, said she had requested an investigation into allegations officials had illegally bugged News24 investigative journalist Jeff Wicks.

This follows a call from News24 to CI to cease the illegal surveillance of Wicks immediately. The publication also requested an investigation to establish the extent of the unlawful surveillance.

ALSO READ | 'Bugging' of News24 journalist receives attention of Inspector-General of Intelligence, RICA judge

Wicks has been at the forefront of covering ructions within the police and the fallout in CI following Lieutenant-Colonel Charl Kinner's murder.

It is believed the operation was launched in a bid to establish Wick's sources through the use of a "grabber" - a device which can track and trace cellphones.

Bess Nkabinde, the designated judge charged with authorising legal interceptions in terms of the Regulation of Interception and Communication Act (RICA), said she had not received nor granted any authorisation for the use of such a device for interception purposes.

"The relevant oversight authority - SAPS [Crime Intelligence Division] - is better placed to address the concerns raised," Nkabinde added.

Concern for Wicks' safety and privacy grew when he was followed after leaving his home, while three independent sources, two with direct knowledge of operations in CI, confirmed the existence of the surveillance operation.

Last month, CI told News24 it "does not conduct illegal interceptions of communications" but did not confirm or deny the existence of a surveillance operation against Wicks.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Nappies, they cost too much
6% - 210 votes
Formula and food, it's getting so expensive
18% - 594 votes
Creche and school fees are a struggle every month
76% - 2543 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.