Parliament must probe reports of anti-Zuma spying unit: DA
TMG Digital | 2017-06-11 14:13:56.0
President of South Africa Jacob Zuma. File photo.
Image by: ROGAN WARD
The Democratic Alliance wants Parliament to probe allegations of a covert crime intelligence unit being set up to identify and spy on ‘anti-Zuma’ individuals and organisations.
DA spokesman on police matters Zakhele Mbhele said on Sunday he would write to the chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Police‚ Francois Beukman‚ to request that he summon the new acting National Police Commissioner (NPC)‚ Lieutenant-General Lesetja Mothiba‚ following reports that he had agreed to set up a such a unit.
“Reports today indicate that at a meeting between the acting NPC‚ the Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans’ Association (MKMVA) and other intelligence operatives on 2 June 2017‚ it was discussed that the President was under attack and the decision was taken that crime intelligence would gather covert intelligence that will ‘assist in the build-up to the ANC’s December elective conference’‚” Mbhele said.
He said these reports were cause for deep concern and must be fully investigated by the Committee as they could constitute a serious violation of this division’s mandate‚ for purely political reasons.
“It is highly inappropriate for the head of the police service to meet with politically partisan bodies for such narrow ends.
“The Crime Intelligence Division is responsible for gathering vital information to pre-empt crimes‚ especially by organised criminal syndicates before they happen‚ a core function they are failing at. The rising trend over many years in trio crimes – carjackings‚ home robberies and business robberies – is clear evidence of this failure and is the reason for increasing numbers of South Africans not feeling safe in the streets and in their homes.
“Should these reports prove true‚ it will become abundantly clear that this vital division is failing at its core mandate because they are more focused on protecting Zuma and his cronies rather than South Africans‚” Mbhele said.
Those who would be targeted‚ he said‚ included members of the media‚ opposition parties and well as the non-governmental sector.
“This continued politicisation of the intelligence sector is yet another example of the Zuma ANC putting the interests of politicians above those of the people.
“This is simply unacceptable. The Portfolio Committee must get to the bottom of these allegations and should they prove true‚ the DA will not hesitate to take any and all action to ensure that our Crime Intelligence Division is not abused to protect one man while ordinary citizens are vulnerable to law-breaking thugs that threaten the safety of South Africans with impunity‚” Mbhele said.