Aspirant IGI candidate says Ayanda Dlodlo ‘did excellent job’ as spooks’ political head

Andisiwe Makinana Political correspondent
Former state security minister Ayanda Dlodlo. File photo.
Former state security minister Ayanda Dlodlo. File photo.
Image: Freddy Mavunda

An aspirant inspector-general of intelligence (IGI) believes former state security minister Ayanda Dlodlo did an “excellent job” as political head of intelligence.

Contrary to widespread criticism of Dlodlo and her then security cluster colleagues’ handling of the July 2021 violent riots and looting, Nomsa Dlamini told parliament’s joint standing committee on intelligence Dlodlo did her work “excellently”.

Dlamini, who was Dlodlo’s special adviser for two years, including during the riots and looting, was interviewed for the position of IGI on Wednesday.

Dlamini is a former Umkhonto we Sizwe member who was trained in military engineering and intelligence in Russia and by the CIA, among others.

She was asked by DA MP Dianne Kohler Barnard whether she was advising Dlodlo on how to handle the debacle of ministers throwing each other under the bus or whether Dlodlo ignored her advice during the riots.

“What was the situation there? Because it was certainly from the outside utterly chaotic?” said Kohler Barnard.

Dlamini said the minister's interactions were “away from the space” that she [Dlamini] was in. She, however, said the state security agency (SSA) provided intelligence before the riots. She would understand if people questioned the quality of the intelligence.

In terms of the toing and froing of the ministers, Dlodlo “surely had to stand up for the men and women of the SSA who had despite the lack of capacity, even despite how that organisation had been hollowed out, managed to pick up [intelligence] even before the incident itself”.

This was done as early as June.

“They kept on feeding the system with reports of early warnings.”

Regarding the mass looting that took place, they could not stop “a spontaneous mob psyche because you don’t know how it will develop and so on”.

“You can imagine that you know your people have put whatever they could in place, but at the end it’s reported that you have done nothing.”

EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi insisted that Dlodlo had failed dismally as intelligence minister and the July riots were evidence of her failure.

“You worked with Dlodlo from when she was appointed to when she was dismissed from this position. She failed with distinction and I think the riots are a case in point.

“Why should we put you as the IGI, don’t you think we would be worsening the lack of confidence that the entire intelligence community already lacks in the public eye?” he asked.

“I think if you are going to judge my possibility of becoming IGI based on the standards or the performance of minister Dlodlo, actually it means I can get the job even tomorrow,” responded Dlamini.

“Because minister Ayanda Dlodlo has excelled, she has excelled in pursuing her responsibilities as the minister of intelligence.

“I have seen the opposition she had to work under, how she was resisted, but still she managed to forge ahead and put in place so many things that when she went in there were not in existence.”

Among Dlodlo’s successes, according to Dlamini, was the improved morale of SSA staff.

It was also under her reign that for the first time since 2013 a national security strategy and policy were drafted.

Dlamini said that on the night Dlodlo was reshuffled to public service and administration she had assembled a team composed of academics and other members of society to engage the national security policy.


Would you like to comment on this article?
Register (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.