Lindiwe Sisulu accuses SSA of spying on her staff in the Eastern Cape

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Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Lindiwe Sisulu.
Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Lindiwe Sisulu.
Picture: Gallo Images/Frennie Shivambu
  • Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has accused members of the State Security Agency of spying on her staff at the Amatola Water Board'soffices in East London.
  • The minister said the alleged illegal surveillance comes after she raised concerns about a delay in an investigation into corruption at the water entity.
  • Sisulu added her staff was followed, harassed, threatened in hotels and their homes, while their spouses were also harassed and had guns pointed at them.

Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has written a formal complaint to Parliament's Joint Committee on Intelligence about the alleged illegal monitoring of the Amatola Water Board and surveillance of some of her staff members. 

The board is an entity of the Department of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation.  

According to the minister, the alleged illegal surveillance came after she raised concerns about a delay in an investigation into corruption at the water entity.

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Sisulu said:
I’m aware of an orchestrated campaign in which members of the intelligence in the Eastern Cape tried to install surveillance cameras at strategic places around Amatola Water Board offices in East London. This was done without my knowledge as the political head of that institution and the board was also not informed.

She added early this year, she had complained to the Standing Committee on Water and Sanitation about the delays and had also written to the ANC secretary-general's office about it.

Sisulu said she had lodged three complaints to the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence about the alleged illegal surveillance.  

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"This is after criminal cases were lodged with the police that I believe are also being deliberately stalled," she added in a statement.

Eastern Cape police spokesperson Brigadier Thembinkosi Kinana declined to comment, saying he did not have authority to speak on the matter and referred all questions to the police's national office.

National police spokesperson Major-General Mathapelo Peters could not immediately comment. Her response will be added once received.   

Sisulu said:
This creates an impression that in the EC you can commit crime and there will be no consequences as long as you are politically connected, such is becoming the norm. However it weakens government and confidence of the people, as it demoralises not only the water sector for serious future and potential investments, but also affects the staff’s morale, especially those who confront corruption from my department and ministry.

In the statement, she described how her staff was followed, harassed, and threatened in hotels and their homes.

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Sisulu said their spouses were also harassed and had guns pointed at then, and despite this being reported to the police, nothing happened.

"My staff has become targets of these criminals. This is becoming dangerous as the Office of the Inspector-General could attest from our previous reports," she added.  

State Security Agency (SSA) spokesperson Mava Scott could not be reached for comment at the time of writing. His response will be added once received.  

The Inspector-General monitors and reviews the operations of the intelligence services of South Africa, which include the SSA, Defence Intelligence Division of the SA National Defence Force and the police's Crime Intelligence. 

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