The investigation into State Security Agency (SSA) boss Arthur Fraser is "malicious" and is taking place at the "whim" of political parties, he reportedly said. The investigation is intended to tarnish him, the SSA, and the ANC, the country's top spy reportedly claims. According to City Press, Fraser said in court documents filed on Friday that he withdrew the security clearance of the inspector-general of intelligence, Setlhomamuru Dintle, as he could not be trusted.
amaBhungane reported that, on Tuesday night, Dintle launched an "extraordinary" court bid to protect himself from Fraser. The inspector-general is the oversight body that is responsible for monitoring the SSA.
Dintle reportedly said in his court application: "Mr Fraser is alleged to have established an illegal rogue intelligence programme, known as the Principle Agent Network, by allegedly copying the signature of the then-minister Ronnie Kasrils; Mr Fraser is alleged to have improperly influenced the awarding of contracts to his family members and other individuals through the Principle Agent network; and Mr Fraser is alleged to have created an alternative intelligence capacity, which constitutes a criminal offence."
He reportedly said an investigating into the allegations was launched in May last year but his office had repeatedly been frustrated by Fraser, culminating in the revoking of his security clearance. And there is a "prima facie" case for Fraser to answer, he said.
According to City Press, Fraser reportedly said he had evidence that Dintle "personally and without authority disclosed classified information to representatives of political parties in Parliament", and said he would only disclose his sources to a judge in camera.
Dintle is reportedly challenging the withdrawal of his security clearance in court, arguing that Fraser is trying to stop him from investigating corruption.
Fraser reportedly said that allegations that he was involved with the principal agent network programme, where millions were allegedly plundered by top SSA agents, were "malicious". The DA had asked the inspector-general to investigate the claims.
"The purported investigation is malicious and at the whims of political parties aimed at discrediting me, the agency and the current political leadership," he reportedly said.
In his affidavit, Fraser reportedly said he had been tipped off that Dintle had given state secrets to political parties in Parliament, and took issue with the fact that the inspector-general had attached confidential documents to his court papers.
"It is apparent that he [Dintle] fails to appreciate the principles of confidentiality that govern the circulation of classified documents. This failure portrays a lack of appreciation of the basic rules of the area in which he must exercise his oversight responsibilities," he said.
The minister of intelligence, Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba, said last week that she would intervene in the dispute between Fraser and Dintle.
In a statement, she said: "I therefore will be taking steps to ensure that the matters of concern are dealt with, within the provisions of the legal framework governing our environment and to ensure that we maintain good governance as is expected from us."
According to News24, the matter will be heard in court on Tuesday (April 17).