Zondo report: Cope lays criminal charges against Arthur Fraser over SSA allegations

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  • Cope has laid criminal charges against former spy boss Arthur Fraser citing allegations contained in the final section of the Zondo Commission's report.
  • But Cope national spokesperson Dennis Bloem was clear that the party was not meddling in the fight between Fraser and President Cyril Ramaphosa.
  • Bloem said criminal charges against Fraser were the first of many that Cope would open against those implicated in state capture.

Opposition party Cope laid criminal charges against former spy boss Arthur Fraser at the Brooklyn police station in Pretoria.

The main charge of corruption emanates from a finding in the final instalment of the Zondo Commission's report into state capture that Fraser was allegedly a law unto himself when handling money at the State Security Agency (SSA).

Cope also announced that it would lodge similar cases against others implicated in wrongdoing in the report.

Cope spokesperson Dennis Bloem said the allegations against Fraser were "very serious" and that they warranted immediate investigation by law enforcement agencies.

READ | Arthur Fraser's damning affidavit

He was quick to add that the party was not doing Ramaphosa's bidding.

"We are not concerned about the fight between Fraser and Ramaphosa nor the fact that he had opened a case against the president. Our main concern is that state intelligence is the heart and soul of any country and if that is compromised then any country is susceptible to foreign attacks."

He went on to say that "the abuse of taxpayers' money on a private intelligence unit called Principal Agents Network [as found in the final section of the report] is very scary and needs immediate action from the criminal justice system".

Zondo recommended that Fraser be investigated.

Mishandling

Fraser, former State Security Minister David Mahlobo and Ambassador Thulani Dlomo are implicated in allegations on the mishandling and distribution of large amounts of money from the SSA.

The report noted that budget allocation climbed from about R42 million in the 2016/2017 fiscal year to more than R300 million in the 2017/2018 fiscal year, with R225 million allegedly diverted for secret operations within Fraser's office.

To date, the report found, Fraser has still not accounted for R125 million.

READ | Zuma to take state capture report on review - and will haul Zondo before JSC

Commission chairperson Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, recommended that the investigation the Hawks started and later dropped be reinstated.

Former spy boss Arthur Fraser
Former spy boss Arthur Fraser.

Bloem said this "poses a great danger to the security and stability of the country" as such a rouge unit may still be in operation.

As such, Bloem said the party was trying to fast-track the process of implementing Zondo's recommendations.

He said this action was the first "of a series of rolling action on the implementation of the Zondo Commission's recommendations".

"We will continuously approach police to lay criminal charges against different people whom the commission recommends that the Hawks must investigate and charge," Bloem added.

Dennis Bloem.

He told News24 that the charges were the first of many" and that "next week, we will be laying charges against more state capture accused".

The country could not wait on Ramaphosa for another four months before action is taken against those implicated in the report, he added.

"It is our duty and responsibility to assist the National Prosecuting Authority and the Hawks by laying criminal charges against those who must face the full might of the law," Bloem said.


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