The South African State Security Agency (SSA) has been hampered by political malpurposing and factionalism over the past decade or more, according to a report released by President Cyril Ramphosa on Saturday.

This has resulted in the agency’s “almost complete disregard for the Constitution, policy, legislation and other prescripts,” the report said.

The SSA is tasked with providing the government with information including intelligence on domestic and foreign threats or potential threats to national stability.

However, SSA leaders reportedly have been embroiled in political matters that have taken attention away from dealing with serious work against crime. The fact that there is also no accountability further entrenches the bad level of services.

A high-level panel, appointed by Ramaphosa in 2018 to review the intelligence service, has produced a report that identifies challenges including low staff morale, unprofessional and unethical conduct.

Releasing the report on Saturday, Ramaphosa said the report would assist in ensuring a responsible and accountable national intelligence capability for the country in line with the Constitution and relevant legislation.

The report spells a way forward towards the rebuilding of an SSA that would be revamped, renewed and recommitted.

Khusela Diko, spokesperson of the President, said the panel proposed for the urgent development of a national security strategy as an overriding basis for redefining and refining the concepts, values, policies, practices and architecture involved in South Africa’s approach to security.

They also proposed the separation of the SSA into two services, namely a domestic and a foreign service, to delineate its scope. Enditem


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