State capture: SSA gave firearms, ammunition to non-members, claims spy boss

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Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo
Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo
PHOTO: Veli Nhlapo, Gallo Images
  • The SSA gave firearms and ammunition to non-members.
  • This was revealed by SSA acting director-general Loyiso Jafta during the State Capture Inquiry. 
  • It is not known why the firearms and ammunition were given, and what they may have been used for. 

State Security Agency (SSA) operatives unlawfully gave firearms and ammunition to non-members, but it is not known why the weapons were given or what they were used for. 

This information was revealed by the SSA acting director-general Loyiso Jafta, who was testifying before the State Capture Inquiry on Tuesday. 

Jafta was testifying about the condition in which he found the intelligence agency when he was appointed as the acting director-general in 2018.

He told the commission that resources were abused for operations, which were not within the prescripts of the law. This included assets, such as firearms and ammunition, given to non-members of the SSA.

He did not explain who these members were. 

He said this abuse of resources took place in the special operations environment and that, since being at the helm of the SSA, they had tried to retrieve these firearms and ammunition. 

He said some of the firearms have since been recovered and were handed over to the South African Police Services for ballistic testing to establish if they were used in the commission of any crimes. 

Jafta added that they also received ammunition, which did not belong to the SSA, when trying to recover the arms.

This aspect is currently still under investigation and the agency still needs to determine what happened to the ammunition handed out to unknown people. 

More startling was his admission that he could not guarantee what these firearms were used for, saying he had anxiety that they may have been used to commit crimes. 

It was also not placed before the commission how many of these firearms were recklessly doled out and how many have since been recovered.

Jafta also told the commission that fixed assets, such as property, would be registered in the name of private individuals and it became part of their estates. Also, that personnel in the agency were deployed to carry out responsibilities that fell outside the mandate of the SSA. 

As for the cash flow of the SSA, Jafta testified that systems for the proper management of finances and expenditure were not adhered to.

He discovered that a number of SSA officials were registered in the register of debtors. These members owed the organisation large amounts of money, often running into millions of rands. 

ALSO READ | State capture inquiry: Zondo dismisses state security minister's bid to block spy boss from testifying

He said he found out that there was a parallel system, outside the legal prescripts, to give officials money in cash, which were spent on projects outside their legal mandate. 

Jafta also alleged that projects were funded to enhance the political fortunes of the ANC when elections were nearing. He said money was used to fund a union in order to weaken the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union's (Amcu) membership around the platinum belt.

Jafta said that, since heading up the SSA, he has sought to shut down a number of operations found to be outside of the legal mandate of the intelligence agency. 

This included terminating the agency's protection services provided to ex-SAA board chair Dudu Myeni and ANC Youth League president Collin Maine, as well as disbanding a number of NPOs created by the SSA, which he claimed were set up to promote the ANC.

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