State Security Agency posed these 'personal' questions to SAA managers

19 February 2020 - 15:42
Opponents of former SAA board chair Dudu Myeni were allegedly 'purged' through exhaustive vetting by State Security Agency (SSA) officials, the state capture inquiry heard on Wednesday.
Image: Gallo Images Opponents of former SAA board chair Dudu Myeni were allegedly 'purged' through exhaustive vetting by State Security Agency (SSA) officials, the state capture inquiry heard on Wednesday.

The Zondo commission of inquiry heard on Wednesday that security vetting of SAA senior managers in 2016 was so "personal" there were fears that it was being used to purge opponents of then board chair Dudu Myeni.

An affidavit filed to the commission by SAA employee Sharon Olitzki, who was among those Myeni wanted out of the national airline, detailed the nature of the interview segment of the vetting process.

Interviews with the 118 affected staff went deep into their family affairs. Only senior managers, executives and their support staff were subjected to this vetting process, the commission heard.

The process apparently revealed that Olitzki held dual citizenship.

The questions asked by State Security Agency (SSA) officials included requests for intimate personal details of interviewees' family members, relationships and lifestyle choices, such as: 

  • Were you all as children (your siblings) treated fairly while growing up?
  • Were any of your parents, brother or sisters abusing drugs and substances and if yes what were those?
  • Did any of your family members receive counselling or psychological treatment and if they did what treatment was it?
  • Describe your spouse's personality.
  • If your life started all over again, would you marry your current spouse? 
  • What kind of relationship was there between your parents?
  • How are your relations with your parents-in-law?
  • Do you believe in polygamy, and why?
  • If you have lost your spouse, how did your children cope with the loss?
  • Are you a socialite? Do you go out to drinking halls and clubs?
  • What kind of people do you hang around with at these social outings? Are they male or female? What conversations do you have?

Other questions attempt to gauge the interviewee's financial habits, moral boundaries and political beliefs, for example:


  • What in your view is a luxury?
  • Do you ever make impulsive decisions with regards to what you consume with your money?
  • Do you ever borrow money from your family or friends? If you do, how long and often do you pay it back?
  • Do you have any account with any store?
  • Are you involved in any from of gambling? If you do, how often do you gamble?
  • Are you religious? What principles do you live by?
  • Are you a member of a political organisation and do you believe in the ideology of that organisation?
  • Is it wrong or not to change your beliefs on a regular basis?
  • What are your views on the government in your country? Are you happy with the current situation in our land?
  • Do you have any role in any political organisation? If so, how do you attend to that role?
  • What is your view on radical political organisations?
  • Are you predictable? What do you do when angry?
  • If the interviewee (SSA official) were your friend, would you trust them to keep your secret?
  • What is your take on manipulation?
  • Can you be bought? How would you react to a bribe offer or blackmail situation?

Asked if these questions were personal, SSA member Nokunqoba Dlamini, who was project manager for the vetting process at SAA, told the commission that the vetting interviews were "always personal".

"The entire interview by SAA for vetting is personal in nature," she said.

Dlamini also confirmed to the commission that she had met Myeni alone before she had a presentation about the project to the full SAA board. 

The board meeting was held a day later - after Dlamini had the one-on-one meeting with Myeni, who was absent in the board meeting, she said.