Siyanda Ndlovu
Digital Journalist
2 minute read
7 Sep 2021
4:22 pm

DA decries SSA’s refusal to make unrest intelligence report public

Siyanda Ndlovu

The party filed an application in terms of the PAIA to access the report, which Bheki Cele has denied receiving.

Picture: Sibongumenzi Sibiya

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has revealed that the State Security Agency (SSA) has denied its request to make public the intelligence report which the then State Security minister, Ayanda Dlodlo, claimed to have handed over to law-enforcement officials ahead of the violent unrests in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and Gauteng.

In July, DA leader John Steenhuisen filed a Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) application to access the report.

This was after Dlodlo mentioned the report at a press conference she addressed in the presence of Police Minister Bheki Cele.

Cele categorically denied having received an intelligence report from Dlodlo.

“It is you, the minister, who would have given the product to me. The minister of SSA could not give the product direct to the other DG. It would have come to me, and I would have given it to the national commissioner. I want to repeat here that I have never seen that product,” Cele told the joint standing committees on defence and police.

The DA on Tuesday said it was not satisfied with the SSA’s decision to not release the report.

“The decision to hide behind section 10 of the Intelligence Services Act and section 44 of PAIA – is cowardice and highlights the state’s desire to continue to keep the veil of secrecy around the catastrophic events in July.

“It is this very level of secrecy the High-Level Review Panel report decried and obviously the reports would have been redacted to protect the names of operatives, sources and other sensitive information.”

ALSO READ: Dlodlo insists: ‘There was never an intelligence failure’, ahead of unrest

The party said complete transparency was required in terms of “who knew what and when, as well as how our security cluster twiddled their thumbs as KwaZulu-Natal’s industries and livelihoods went up in flames”.

DA’s shadow minister of state security Dianne Kohler Barnard said the party was of the firm view that the report is of public interest.

“If the state is already hiding information on the intelligence reports surrounding the violence in the two provinces, we can be almost certain that the parliamentary inquiry into these events will merely be an attempt to whitewash the ANC’s failures.

“South Africans must know the contents of the supposed report and any intelligence information related to the ANC-sponsored violence which wreaked havoc on communities and businesses in KZN and Gauteng,” said Kohler Barnard.