'How can I get info when banned from office?'

'Sipho Masombuka

'Sipho Masombuka

Former spy boss Billy Masetlha yesterday told the Hatfield community court in Pretoria he could not understand why he was being accused of withholding information.

Testifying under cross-examination, Masetlha said he could not understand why he was accused of withholding information from his superiors even because he had complied with other requests to provide information on numerous occasions.

The once-powerful former spy boss is charged under the Intelligence Oversight Act for withholding information from the National Intelligence Agency's inspector-general of intelligence Zolile Ngcakani.

"Where did Ngcakani get the Project Fairwood report if I had not complied with his requests?" asked Masetlha.

He also testified that he could not comply with a subsequent demand for intelligence reports because he was already out of office by then and had been denied access to NIA offices.

"I asked the minister [Ronnie Kasrils] for permission to access the offices, but he said I should speak to Ngcakani. Ngcakani said I should speak to the minister. This was silly. How would I have been able to provide the required documents if I had no access to the offices?

"I do not personally keep NIA documents. They are the property of the state," said Masetlha.

He said it was a difficult moment when he was kicked out of his state house.