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DA asks Ramaphosa to suspend spy boss for ‘threatening’ intelligence watchdog

Spy boss Arthur Fraser and Vusi Pikoli.
Spy boss Arthur Fraser and Vusi Pikoli.
Image: Desiree Swart

The Democratic Alliance has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to immediately suspend State Security Agency director-general Arthur Fraser pending an investigation into the serious allegations levelled against him.

On Wednesday‚ Inspector-General of Intelligence (IGI) Setlhomamaru Dintwe accused Fraser of threatening him and trying to block an investigation into "serious" allegations against the spy boss.

Dintwe said this had forced him to go to court on an urgent basis to seek legal protection.

"In a desperate attempt to bring an end to my investigation into the allegations against him‚ the Director-General has sought to revoke my security clearance‚” Dintwe said in a statement.

The DA expressed shock that Dintwe had been forced to approach the high court to interdict Fraser from interfering in the work of his office.

DA chief whip John Steenhuisen said Dintwe had rightly pointed out that the IGI was established by the Constitution to perform civilian oversight of the intelligence services.

Steenhuisen said Dintwe’s office should be able to fulfil this vital role unencumbered and free from intimidation.

Steenhuisen said in May last year‚ the party lodged a formal complaint with the IGI’s office requesting an investigation into Fraser’s involvement with the Principle Agent Network (PAN) programme which he initiated and oversaw from 2007 to 2009.

During that period‚ Fraser was the deputy director-general of the National Intelligence Agency.

“Indeed‚ the DA was aware of his past when then-President Jacob Zuma appointed him in September 2016 and was vehemently opposed it.”

Steenhuisen said since then‚ the party’s worst fears had been realised with the politicisation of the intelligence services.

He said this was epitomised by the dubious intelligence report that was used as a pretext to fire then-minister of finance Pravin Gordhan and his deputy in March 2017.

“The time has come for President Ramaphosa to reclaim our intelligence services and he can start by putting Fraser on suspension pending an investigation.”

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