Intelligence mess needs attention

State security minister Ayanda Dlodlo.
State security minister Ayanda Dlodlo.
Image: Moeletsi Mabe

The State Security Agency is a crucial department for the country as it provides the government with intelligence on domestic and foreign threats or potential threats to national stability.

It further provides for the safety and wellbeing of the citizens of SA.

So, the last thing we expect from high-level officials of this important department is infighting and public spats that will no doubt lead to instability at the agency.

It is for this reason that we waste no time in condemning the reported fallout between state security minister Ayanda Dlodlo and her intelligence chiefs Sam Muofhe and and Loyiso Jafta.

The bickering is unfortunate and needs the urgent intervention of President Cyril Ramaphosa as it is also likely to undermine efforts to clean up the agency.

The cause of the fallout between the trio, according to reports, is said to have been over intelligence agency's failure to anticipate the recent xenophobic attacks that erupted in Gauteng.

The much-publicised violent attacks left 12 people dead and scores injured. This created tension between SA and fellow African countries.

As South Africans, we were baffled at how our intelligence service failed to intercept communication and act proactively in dealing with possible attacks.

Instead of going back to the drawing board and trying to come up with means to overcome their shortcomings, Dlodlo and her chiefs are fighting each other - something that will not benefit the country.

The only thing this bickering and public spats will create is national instability and that will leave South Africans open to possible attacks without any means to deal with such violence.

Reports of the fallout are also disturbing as they paint Ramaphosa as a person who takes sides. Muofhe, who played a critical role in the CR17 campaign that led to Ramaphosa winning the ANC presidency, is believed to be very close to the president.

But we urge Ramaphosa to act decisively and put the alleged friendship aside.

There is also a lot of mess in that department created during Jacob Zuma's presidency that also needs Ramaphosa's immediate intervention.

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