IGI court action against Fraser to go ahead despite his move to Correctional Services

SSA director general Arthur Fraser. (Paul Herman, News24)
SSA director general Arthur Fraser. (Paul Herman, News24)

Despite a decision to move State Security Agency (SSA) director general Arthur Fraser to the Department of Correctional Services, Inspector-General of Intelligence (IGI) Setlhomamaru Dintwe will still proceed with his urgent application for an interdict on Thursday to bar Fraser from interfering with his duties. 

Dintwe launched the application last week, claiming Fraser allegedly sought to revoke his security clearance and had interfered with his functions while he was investigating a complaint lodged against the former SSA director general.

In a statement, released last Wednesday, April 11, Dintwe said he would ask the court to put measures in place to "ensure my personal security", following Fraser's "brazen and unlawful actions".

The IGI's legal advisor, advocate Jay Govender, confirmed to News24 that the urgent application which is on the roll for Thursday in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, will go ahead despite the announcement that Fraser has been removed from the SSA. 

READ: State Security Agency DG Arthur Fraser moved to Correctional Services

The SSA announced on Tuesday that Fraser would be transferred to the Department of Correctional Services, following consultation between President Cyril Ramaphosa, the Minister of State Security Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba and Fraser.

The transfer has been agreed upon with Fraser and will be effective with immediate effect, said SSA spokesperson Brian Dube. 

"Loyiso Jafta has been appointed to act as the director general of the State Security Agency until the appointment process for the post is finalised."

In court papers, Dintwe said he was seeking urgent interim relief to prevent Fraser from acting "unconstitutionally, unlawfully and [being] motivated by bad faith".

"I seek a range of declaratory and interdictory relief on a final basis relating to the powers of the director general," he said in an affidavit, dated April 10.

He added that Fraser's decisions had implications for the proper functioning of the office of the IGI because Fraser had infringed upon its constitutional and statutorily-protected independence by trying to revoke his security clearance.

City Press reported over the weekend that Fraser said he withdrew Dintwe's security clearance because the IGI could not be trusted with state secrets.

Dintwe can't be trusted with state secrets - Fraser

The country's top spy, Arthur Fraser, says his legal wrangle with his department's oversight head, Setlhomamaru Dintwe, is a part of a political conspiracy to discredit him, the State Security Agency (SSA) and the ANC.

He said he had evidence that Dintwe "personally and without authority, disclosed classified information to representatives of political parties in Parliament", specifically the Democratic Alliance.

Fraser said he would only disclose his sources to a judge in camera.

He added that the investigation was a political conspiracy to discredit him and the African National Congress.

"The purported investigation is malicious and at the whims of political parties aimed at discrediting me, the agency and the current political leadership," Fraser said in his replying affidavit.

The DA, which laid the complaint against Fraser, accusing him of establishing an illegal parallel intelligence network as well as having improperly awarded tenders and contracts to people associated with his family, through the parallel intelligence network, denounced the decision to move Fraser. 

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

DA chief whip John Steenhuisen said in a statement on Tuesday that the party welcomed Fraser’s removal from the SSA, but that it is "completely outrageous that President [Cyril] Ramaphosa has decided to merely transfer Fraser to a different government department in light of the ongoing investigation into the damning criminal allegations against him."

"The President's decision to transfer Fraser is nothing short of a continuation of the disgraceful trend started by former President Jacob Zuma where patently corrupt and criminal officials escape liability for their actions," said Steenhuisen.

"Evidently, Fraser's relentless attempts to intimidate and divert attention from his illicit conduct at the SSA has worked – President Ramaphosa and State Security Agency Minister Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba, have blinked and are allowing Fraser to get away with little consequence."

Steenhuisen added that much more still needed to be done to reclaim South Africa's intelligence services and rid it of nefarious characters, such as Fraser.

Jacques Pauw, in his book The President's Keepers, accused Fraser of running the parallel intelligence network during a previous stint at the spy agency before 2010.

According to the book, an internal SSA probe concluded that Fraser should be charged with treason for his role in the running of the project.

Fraser initiated and oversaw the parallel intelligence network project as then deputy director general of the National Intelligence Agency, between 2007 and 2009.

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

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