Brendan Seery
Deputy Editor
3 minute read
1 Feb 2021
6:30 am

The spy who spooked a nation

Brendan Seery

The way the ANC leader set up the State Security Agency as his own KGB was so masterful, it was being used in spy school in Moscow as a way to identify the world’s most gullible countries.

Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture Neil McCartney

The wet tarmac sparkled on and off under the glow of the orange street light – on and off because, well, South Africa. And Eskom. But, as Yuri pulled his trench coat tighter around him, the squally Joburg rain reminded him of his time in Vienna. How he missed the Sasche torte and the Danube and the days of the Third Man when men were men and spies were spies. His KGB station chief in the heady days of the late ’80s was a tough, shortish man called Vladimir Putin, who called the shots out of the Dresden office in...