Government Should Release Intelligence Report on Violent Unrest, Says DA Leader

Government Should Release Intelligence Report on Violent Unrest, Says DA Leader

  • The Democratic Alliance is demanding for government to release a security intelligence report on the recent unrest in parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal
  • The leader of the opposition and the party's federal leader John Steenhuisen noted that an application will be filed to access the report
  • The DA leader said if the Minister of Police Bheki Cele had prior intelligence information but failed to act on it, he could be in contravention of the National Strategic Intelligence Act

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The Democratic Alliance is demanding for government to release a state security intelligence report following the recent unrest in parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni has, however, taken a defiant stance, citing that it would not be in the interest of government to make the said information public.

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Government, State security intelligence report, John Steenhuisen, Cyril Ramaphosa, Bheji Cele, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, Violent, Unrest, DA leader, Democratic Alliance
Outspoken DA leader John Steenhuisen is demanding that government release an intelligence report on the violent unrest to the public. Image: Esa Alexander/ Pool.
Source: Getty Images

According to reports, the intelligence report also contains information that government had in its possession before the public violence and widespread looting broke out.

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The leader of the opposition and the party's federal leader John Steenhuisen said an application will be filed in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act to access the report, according to TimesLIVE.

He was quoted saying:

“It is critical that South Africans know the who, when and what of this catastrophic failure of our security cluster to protect citizens and property.
"Who knew upfront about the looting and unrest? When did they know it, and what did they do about it?"

Those who failed to act should be held accountable

Steenhuisen followed this statement up by singling out the persons he believes ought to be held accountable for the lack of a proactive response towards preventing the unrest.

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The DA leader said if the Minister of Police Bheki Cele, in particular, had received intelligence on the planned looting and failed to act on it, he could be in contravention of the National Strategic Intelligence Act.

“These questions apply to all in the security cluster, but specifically to President Cyril Ramaphosa, state security minister Dlodlo, police minister Cele and defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula,” he said.
“Minister Dlodlo should, therefore, publicly release the intelligence report(s) which she claims were made available to law enforcement because such reports would likely reveal evidence of a failure to comply with the law by the police."

Ordinary South Africans suffered the biggest losses

Steenhuisen stressed that it would be in the public interest for such information to be made available, per a report by Business Day.

He also sympathised with people who were the most adversely affected and said if the reports showed a failure to act appropriately by law enforcement, then private citizens and business owners ought to exercise their legal options.

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“It is private citizens and business owners who bore the brunt of the attacks. If the intelligence reports reveal they suffered these extensive losses due to a failure by the police to comply with the law, they should have recourse to legal action against Cele and other police officials.
“Ours is a constitutional democracy premised on the principles of openness and transparency, where citizens have the right to access the information they need to hold elected officials accountable for catastrophic failures like the ones our country recently witnessed,” said Steenhuisen.

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Leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA) and Member of Parliament, John Steenhuisen has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to address the nation on the latest in the court judgement against former President Jacob Zuma.

Briefly News reported recently that the party leader said it is unthinkable that the president of the country can "go missing" at a time like this.

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Per a SABC News report, the DA wants Ramaphosa to speak out in defence of the Constitution and the independence of the judiciary, which it said has progressively come under attack from elements within the African National Congress (ANC).

Steenhuisen, who in a recently penned open letter to the media, expressed dismay at, among other things, the lack of lockdown Level 4 compliance by the throngs of Zuma supporters who'd gathered in Nkandla following the latter's incarceration.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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