Commission hears of alleged covert ops in media, judiciary, civil society, academia and unions, costing taxpayers ‘hundreds of millions’

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This provided Venture Dedication, which allegedly noticed for Zuma a windfall of at least R80-million in off-the-publications income, allegedly gathered month to month among 2015 and 2017 from the SSA by a runner dispatched by Minister of Point out Safety David Mahlobo.

The commission heard that Zuma gained R2.5-million in hard cash for every thirty day period for the duration of the 2015/16 financial yr, which greater to R4.5-million per month in the course of 2016/17. And though Mahlobo experienced acknowledged receipt of these resources, the fee was told that there was no proof that the income had observed its way to Zuma.

Even so, Mahlobo, in very clear breach of the basic principle of the separation of powers, was also fingered by witnesses, claimed Mufamadi, as the member of Zuma’s government to whom Thulani Dlomo, head of the covert and unlawful Distinctive Functions Device (SOU) documented, circumventing SSA administration. It was distinct to the panel, alleged Mufamadi, that Dlomo’s device “was a legislation unto itself”.

SOU recruits had refused to report to administration and when customers interviewed by the panel had been quizzed, numerous responded that they documented and accounted to “the executive”.

Dlomo, the fee listened to, had been an uncooperative witness when interviewed by the panel and had invoked the “need-to-know” defence.

“He did not comprehend that this is a panel founded by the president and you can not be an operative of a state organ and when the state wishes to do some introspection in an region in which you are working you invoke the want-to-know basis. It is as if you are accomplishing this for yourself.”

Mufamadi reported that the panel had discovered that “special ops” appeared to have been a “catch-all phrase for specified issues to be completed by SSA which do not slide inside of the remit of SSA”.

It was Mahlobo who not only brought information to the former president that his wife MaNtuli experienced allegedly poisoned him, but who also afterwards secured R5-million from the SSA for Challenge Tin Roof.

This was for the alleged procurement of a “safe house” for the president’s now excommunicated wife and kids. Additional month-to-month withdrawals of R800,000 a month had been also created, allegedly to help the initial lady.

Interestingly, in an interview with Karyn Maughan and Newzroom Afrika in 2019, MaNtuli stated she experienced been summarily turfed out of Nkandla just after Mahlobo experienced frequented her husband and experienced been penniless and homeless at any time given that. 

The allegations beg the question of irrespective of whether the very first girl misrepresented her fiscal predicament throughout the interview or whether or not the cash destined for her maintenance at any time obtained to her. All will be unveiled, no question.

More allegations by Mufamadi have been that the institution of Sekunjalo director Iqbal Survé’s African News Company in 2015 was a State Stability Agency covert procedure and task front.

Titled Project Wave, the operation, explained Mufamadi, was aimed at “countering destructive nearby and global perceptions of the place, Zuma and the SSA”. 

The cost of setting up the covert media challenge, which Zondo opined had been unnecessary as the govt experienced its have communications operations, ended up not disclosed.

While Project Justice was a “ruse to accessibility condition resources”, mentioned Mufamadi, its alleged stated aim at the time had been to “recruit and handle” sources in the judiciary “in get to impact the result of situations against President Zuma”.

For the 1st time on Monday, evidence contained in now declassified sections of the 2018 Large-Degree Panel Critique Report into the State Protection Company laid bare how evidently limitless entry to cash propped up and funded numerous arms of Zuma’s “shadow state” for the duration of his tenure.

The fee listened to how the SSA VIP defense task experienced an annual funds of R24-million to prepare agents not only to act as an advance power for Zuma in the course of his worldwide travels, but also as security for people who have been not entitled to this. Aside from, it was the SA Law enforcement Solutions or the Countrywide Intelligence Company that need to have been seized with matters of individual stability and not the SSA, explained Mufamadi.

These who allegedly benefited were SAA board chair Dudu Myeni, ANC Youth League chief Collen Maine and the then head of the DPCI (the Hawks), Common Yolisa Matakata.

Just after Zuma’s “poisoning” scares, the SSA had introduced in toxicologists to test Zuma’s bedding and foodstuff at an original cost of R500,000 a month. This shortly escalated to R1.5-million, the fee was told.

Around and over this, the SSA’s job at the rear of the institution of a bogus union, the Staff Affiliation Union (WAU), at Lonmin in 2014 to spy on Cosatu’s rival union, Amcu, was also set out.

One of the founding customers of the WAU, Thebe Maswabi, has claimed that he individually satisfied Zuma in September 2013. Maswabi sued the president and several departments in a civil make a difference for R114-million in 2016. 

The make any difference was settled out of court, which Mufamadi explained to the Zondo Commission was regrettable, as the “veil of secrecy” encompassing the challenge experienced been held intact.

The tentacles of Zuma’s shadow condition, the commission heard, arrived at all ranges of culture and targeted the “Fees Should Fall Movement” in Challenge Academia and organisations symbolizing civil culture these types of as Suitable2Know, the #Zumamustfall “movement” and Casac.

At least 10 authorized associates were being present at the hearing on Monday representing several implicated heavyweights, which includes former point out security ministers Siyabonga Cwele, Mahlobo and Bongani Bongo. Also represented had been previous SSA DG Arthur Fraser, Principal Agent Community (PAN) supervisor Graham Engel and Covert Aid Unit supervisor Prince Makhwathana.

Mufamadi, for the duration of the proceedings, produced numerous statements welcoming the lifting of the iron curtain that has surrounded the SSA for many years and experienced even shut out the Auditor-Basic.

Mufamadi commenced his testimony placing out that the start of a return to an “apartheid-era warrior state” mentality had begun with then-president Zuma’s proclamation in 2009 amalgamating the NIA and the South African Solution Provider into one physique, the SSA.

This, mentioned Mufamadi, experienced rekindled the indicating of condition protection. The submit-1994 intelligence entire world, he claimed, as a outcome of the conclusion of the Cold War, had referred to as for intelligence agencies to safeguard the citizens of the nation and not political factions.

“State stability has ominous connotations it is anti-democratic. As a region, we are not able to quickly have overlooked where by we have arrive from ahead of 1994 the place we have intelligence that serves war tactics.”

He claimed Zuma’s proclamation, “besides usurping the position of the legislature”, produced a condition “which the moment additional ran the possibility of bringing the security establishment back into the cockpit of our political system with the chance to rechoreograph the theatre of mistaken deeds that we noticed in the past through both political partiality or the weaponisation of the intelligence local community for needs other than those which the company existed for”.

The proclamation, he added, had been unconstitutional and Parliament had been “fast asleep”. In the four years that it took the Countrywide Assembly to rubber-stamp the proclamation, the SSA had embarked on different assignments of doubtful intent.

Having said that, it was challenging, he said, to identify no matter whether the proclamation by Zuma had been an act of wrongdoing.

“But it would be complicated to argue that there is no causal link among the two.”

Mufamadi additional that he discovered it “astounding, and I am talking on my own behalf and the panel’s, that we do not show up to be prepared to section company with the obsession with secrecy – undue secrecy.

“If you can have unconstitutionality persist for so extended, a usurpation of parliamentary electrical power, and we pay the price tag that I consider we paid out as a country, then we need to inquire, why was Parliament sleepwalking? 

“If we are not safe and sound in the palms of a entire body as critical as that,
I am sorry.”

Zondo evidence leader Paul Pretorius claimed that testimony about the SSA would demonstrate that “in relation to legislation enforcement, their inaction contributed a excellent offer of what transpired and that is 1 of the causes why it happened”.

This fed directly to the coronary heart of Condition Seize, he stated.

The SSA experienced embarked on assignments in contravention of constitutional ideas “and to correct resources to favour factional political interests and other beneficiaries who are not entitled”.

Mufamadi, throughout the proceedings, manufactured many statements welcoming the lifting of the iron curtain that has surrounded the SSA for yrs and experienced even shut out the Auditor-Basic.

This was whilst it was not able and unwilling to account for hundreds of tens of millions of rands stolen from the general public and used criminally.

“It is essential that some of the sacred cows are no extended sacred, and one can get some solace in that,” he informed Zondo.

In his concluding assertion, Mufamadi said, “I imagine we are blessed that we continue to have what I call a residue of the will to introspect on the part of the powers that be.”

In a side-wipe or possibly warning shot to Parliament, he stated, “The legislative branch has no appropriate to lower its guard.”

The executive also could not “just sit back and watch no matter whether self-correction happens”. 

Civil society also need to decide on its function in helping the condition “to self-correct” stated Mufamadi.

“Which is why I assumed that it would have been the ideal detail to do for members of the community to say, there is the Zondo Fee, it is having this hearing. 

“We are happy that it is getting aired in community simply because it is when we develop into obsessed with secrecy that we disempower our people today from enjoying the function they will have to play to job their very own dispensation, which came at a major price tag. It is a price tag that all those of us who know how it was paid, do not want our democracy to be taken for granted.” DM