News / South Africa

Ilse de Lange
2 minute read
12 Apr 2018
6:25 am

Intelligence chief takes spy boss Fraser to court

Ilse de Lange

Fraser allegedly fraudulently copied former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils's signature when he started an alleged illegal intelligence programme, among others.

Former head of the State Security Agency (SSA), Arthur Fraser, seen in Pretoria in 2008. Picture: Gallo Images

The Intelligence inspector-general has taken the head of the State Security Agency (SSA), Arthur Fraser, to court, alleging Fraser had unlawfully revoked his security clearance to stop an investigation into his own alleged illegal conduct.

Inspector-general Setlhomamaru Dintwe will next week ask the High Court in Pretoria to interdict Fraser from interfering in his duties as inspector-general and to force him and the SSA to cooperate with any of his investigations.

Dintwe wants the interim interdict to remain in place, pending the outcome of his application to declare that the director-general of the State Security Agency has no authority to grant, revise or revoke the inspector-general’s security clearance, and to have sections of the Intelligence Services Oversight Act declared unconstitutional, where it provides for the director-general’s involvement in his security clearance.

He will also seek a court order aimed at ensuring that an Intelligence inspector-general may not be revoked without a parliamentary inquiry, and without a two-thirds approval by the National Assembly, and that the office of the inspector-general is allocated a budget separately from Intelligence Services.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) lodged a complaint against Fraser after allegations emerged in journalist Jacques Pauw’s book, The President’s Keepers, which included that he allegedly fraudulently copied the signature of former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils when he established an alleged illegal intelligence programme known as the Principal Agent Network.

Dintwe alleged in an affidavit Fraser was using SSA resources and denying him access to intelligence and intelligence premises to undermine his office and to prevent an investigation into his conduct. He said the allegations against Fraser were extremely serious, and damaging to the standing of the intelligence services.

The allegations included that Fraser had been party to the establishment of an intelligence gathering unit outside the provisions of the statute governing intelligence gathering and that he improperly awarded tenders and contracts to persons associated with his family and other individuals through the unit.

He alleged Fraser had in November last year sent him a “threatening letter”, in which he claimed Dintwe was in possession of “classified” information, which he said illustrated the extent of Fraser’s abuse, as the information was prima facie evidence of illegal conduct by Fraser himself.

He also claimed Fraser had threatened to remove his current security detail.

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