A spy who lost everything after being put on ice by former state security minister David Mahlobo has detailed clandestine off-the-book operations, Russian involvement, monitoring of “strategic individuals”, and a morbid plan to destabilise the ANC using bodies from mortuaries at “fake” bomb scenes.
The sworn statement was released by forensic consultant Paul O’Sullivan’s Forensics for Justice, hot on the heels of the report of the High-Level Review Panel on the State Security Agency (SSA) currently making waves throughout South Africa.
Given the code names “Prophet” or “Whiskey”, the source’s real name is being kept out of the public eye for now by O’Sullivan for protection.
Magda Wierzycka, Tito Mboweni, Anton Harber, Moeletsi Mbeki, Thuli Madonsela, Justice Edwin Cameron, Malusi Gigaba and Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng are just a few of the 32 people Whiskey named.
Anti-corruption activist Wierzycka said she had known she was under surveillance, which appeared to drop since Cyril Ramaphosa’s ascension to power.
“They weren’t particularly covert about it,” Wierzycka said. “You would see the same guys sitting in the restaurant and the same guy walking past me in the street. It was also very obvious our telephones were being tapped.”
Wierzycka said because the tapping was illegal, she could hear them coming in on the line and the quality of the call would deteriorate.
“To the point I would have to discontinue my really boring business conversation, so I’m not surprised this list has come out.”
Wierzycka arranged security for herself and her family, something she currently maintains.
“I was part of a team manning a small communication centre monitoring strategic individuals,” Whiskey stated.
According to him, the surveillance was conducted between 2015 and 2018 on “almost all cabinet members, leaders of NGOs, tripartite alliance leaders and strategic individuals.
“My task was to listen to conversation, summarise transcripts into briefs, report immediate real-time locations of subjects under surveillance, write reports on the recording acquired, warn of impending meetings based on cellphone triangulation, corroborate human intelligence via redacted intelligence from operatives on the ground, assign operatives for tasks based on intelligence obtained,” claimed Whiskey.
“After doing the intercepts, we would sit and transcribe the intercepts and these would be handed to a runner who would come and fetch them to the Minister (sic).”
Whiskey alleged Mahlobo had talked of how he was trained in Russia, China, Angola, Senegal, Brazil and India before being promoted to minister.
“Mahlobo says that when he was in Russia, [President Vladimir] Putin spared at least an hour for him every day … and agreed he should be a president of South Africa in the next five to 10 years,” stated Whiskey.
Part of the plot to destabilise the ANC would be to subject the ex-North West and Free State premiers to “fake shootings and bombings” – and then blame the “conspiracy” on Ramaphosa and his supporters.
“Mahlobo said they would set a bomb off at Supra [Mahumapulo]’s house as part of the plot,” Whiskey claimed.
When he asked about collateral damage, Mahlobo allegedly told him: “Chief, this is a war, there will be casualties.”
When Mahlobo was removed as SSA minister, the cash flow to Whiskey dried up, however. Mahlobo allegedly “told me that the project must continue and so we continued with the work,” said Whiskey.
WhatsApp messages between Mahlobo and Whiskey show a desperate man begging for financial help.
“Chief you are fine, your kids in school and everything I am not and u know my situation you can ignore this but you will have an obligation to respond to a legal document. I have shown you nothing but respect but I have lost everything I worked for (sic), ” Whiskey wrote in January 2018.
“I can’t do this anymore.”
Whiskey’s house was subsequently repossessed and he sold his car to avoid a repeat.
“In Q2, 2018, we turned one of ex-minister of intelligence David Mahlobo’s undercover agents, debriefed him and turned it all over to the President (Cyril Ramaphosa), so that he could be aware of the ever-present threat,” O’Sullivan said.
“The sheer audacity of Zuma’s accomplices, like Mahlobo, who was also engaged in unlawful wire-taps of ourselves and others, whilst running a criminally secret parallel intelligence structure, is breathtaking.”
O’Sullivan said he had opened a case with the Hawks in June and wanted Mahlobo to be brought before the Zondo commission on state capture.
The Hawks were unable to immediately confirm the status of the case, while the Gauteng division of the National Prosecuting Authority sent the allegations up the ladder on June 6, 2018.
“Since then, nothing has happened,” a fuming O’Sullivan told The Citizen.
“The problem is, the job was given to the Priority Crimes Litigation Unit, who the whole country knows is in Zuma’s pocket. The sooner the long overdue clean-up of the police, DPCI (Hawks) and NPA gets started the better for all of us,” O’Sullivan said.
“It’s impossible to fix South Africa if the cops and prosecutors are part of the problem. I’ve gone on record as saying that Shamila Batohi is in charge of the NPA and Lt General Lebeya is in charge of the DPCI. But neither of them is yet in ‘control’. The less said about the police leadership the better. It’s rotten from the head down.”