Ramaphosa guns for ex-spy boss Arthur Fraser

President Cyril Ramaphosa
Image: Esa Alexander

President Cyril Ramaphosa is to set up a review panel to probe shenanigans at the State Security Agency‚ including the alleged abuse of R1-billion of taxpayers' money by its former director general‚ Arthur Fraser.

Ramaphosa made the announcement in the National Assembly on Tuesday while responding to questions from MPs on what he was doing to deal with "malfeasance‚ corruption‚ abuse of resources" within the SSA and the crime intelligence division of the SAPS.

The president said he would soon be setting up a panel of security experts to probe the systems and governance of the country's top security agencies.

Ramaphosa said the review panel of experts would also probe allegations levelled against Fraser in which he is accused of wasting about R1-billion by running the Principal Agent Network (PAN) project when he was the DDG of SSA in the early 2000s.

The allegations have been detailed by respected investigative journalist Jacque Pauw in his book‚ The President's Keepers.

Fraser was recently transferred from SSA to the department of correctional services following a stand-off with the inspector-general of intelligence‚ Setlhomamaru Dintwe.

Asked by the DA leader Mmusi Maimane why Fraser had not been fired but merely moved to another government department‚ Ramaphosa was initially reluctant to answer the question.

The president first argued the matter was sub judice as the DA had gone to court on the matter‚ but later relented when the opposition party pressed him further on the issue.

The DA wanted to know why Ramaphosa was pursuing disciplinary action against suspended SARS boss Tom Monyane while nothing was being done about Fraser.

"If they are trying to do an equation between two different cases‚ one would say that in the case of the intelligence services‚ we've had to take a number of considerations into account due to the sensitive nature of our intelligence service‚" said Ramaphosa.

"In paying regard to those sensitivities‚ I thought and decided that it was best to move Mr Fraser out so that the review panel that I have spoken about can get into the depth of the issues within our intelligence service and once it gets into those depths‚ we will see what unfolds and indeed if there's further action that needs to be taken‚ it will be taken.

"The review panel which I have spoken about…will go into the PAN project. That review panel will go into the depths of everything that has to do with our intelligence service."

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