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ANALYSIS | Zondo Commission spy saga shows why parliamentary oversight and openness are critical

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Former Chairperson of the High-Level Review Panel into the State Security Agency, Dr. Sydney Mufamadi testified at the Zondo commission on Monday.
Former Chairperson of the High-Level Review Panel into the State Security Agency, Dr. Sydney Mufamadi testified at the Zondo commission on Monday.
Fani Mahuntsi, Gallo Images

This week's explosive testimony at the Zondo Commission demonstrates that parliamentary oversight over the intelligence services should be conducted in the open, writes parliamentary reporter Jan Gerber.  

Since Friday, South Africa's pay satellite television service has been running a pop-up channel, featuring James Bond movies. However, by Tuesday, the intrepid 007's exploits were overtaken by a homespun spy story, as regaled to the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.

Surely, the special effects explosions, shaken not stirred vodka martinis, Halle Berry emerging from the ocean and silver Aston Martins seem quaint compared to the bombshells dropped at the commission by Sydney Mufamadi – chair of the high-level panel which investigated the State Security Agency (SSA) – and spy boss Loyiso Jafta.

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