Explainer: 9 explosive revelations about the report into spies

Explainer: 9 explosive revelations about the report into spies

- The weekend saw the office of the Presidency releasing a report by the high-level review panel into the State Security Agency

- The report revealed damning evidence of how the agency had been re-purposed to serve the political interests of ex-president Jacob Zuma and his allies

- Briefly.co.za highlights the 9 most controversial revelations contained in the report

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President Cyril Ramaphosa's office chose to release a report, detailing the findings of a high-level review panel into the State Security Agency, this weekend.

According to News 24, the panel, headed by Dr Sydney Mufamadi, had drawn from documentation and interviews with both current and former ministers, staff and operatives to carry out the review of the SSA.

Briefly.co.za explores the 9 most controversial revelations of the 'bombshell' report:

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1. When ex-president Jacob Zuma and ministers he instated, including Siyabonga Cwele and David Mahlobo, and other senior staff at the agency oversaw (and allowed) the re-purposing of the spy agency to serve their own interests, they violated the Constitution.

2. The main function of the SSA was changed by Zuma, Cwele and others when the former president came into power in 2009. This shifted the purpose of the agency, which had been envisioned in both the Constitution and supporting legislation.

3. The report revealed widespread abuse of funds, violating numerous regulations, and called for increased access to financial information to determine who should be charged for the alleged misuse.

4. The report recommends criminal prosecution for Zuma, Cwele, Mahlobo and other SSA staff members for blatantly disregarding the legislation that governs the agencies operation, as well as violating the Constitution.

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5. The very creation of the SSA had been irregular in terms of the Constitution, as it had not been established through legislation but by a presidential proclamation by Zuma.

6. Operations carried out by the agency's Special Operations division under Thulani Dlomo had included spying on unions and civil society organisations, the creation of a fake union in Marikana, influencing the media and carrying out politically-motivated tasks. These projects will be investigated by a diverse task team, with the aim of being able to criminally prosecute those involved.

7. The SSA is reportedly due to be split into two agencies, one for foreign and one for domestic intelligence, as it had been before Zuma had power over the agency.

8. The report recommends that outdated legislation, presiding over intelligence agencies, be revised to streamline mandates and change power and decision-making rights given to both ministers and agency heads.

9. The report revealed that the SSA had heavily relied on secrecy to avoid accountability, allowing for non-compliance, which included 'blatant criminality'.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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