Minister David Mahlobo. Picture: GCIS
Minister David Mahlobo. Picture: GCIS

Intelligence Inspector-General Setlhomamaru Dintwe has indicated that his office’s investigation of an intelligence report that former president Jacob Zuma used to justify firing Pravin Gordhan as finance minister remains on track and will be concluded soon.

The South African Communist Party (SACP) was first to raise concern about the source of the report. The report became a talking point after Zuma fired Gordhan and replaced him with Malusi Gigaba.

David Mahlobo, state security minister at the time, claimed the intelligence report did not come from his department, raising concern about where Zuma was receiving intelligence reports as a head of state.

There was apprehension that the investigation into the report would stall after Zuma was ousted and replaced by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Advocate Jay Govender, who works in the office of the inspector-general, told Business Day the investigation was at an advanced stage, but there were no time lines for when it would be concluded.

"The report will be released anytime soon. However, we are unable to set time frames to this. You are further advised that changes in government do not have an impact on this investigation as the findings are related to time of reporting," he said.

SACP spokesman Alex Mashilo said even though the party’s referral of the report for investigation was part of the campaign to drum up support for Ramaphosa in the lead-up to the ANC’s elective conference in December, it still wanted to see the matter finalised.

"There is no update that I know of. We will have to consult with the other office to see if there has been any correspondence. We have been waiting for them to give us feedback," Mashilo said.

He said the party, which is in alliance with the ANC, was the first in the country’s history to be the target of spying and espionage at the hands of the apartheid regime and understood the damage the abuse of intelligence operations could cause.

"Everything must be addressed to its logical conclusion. It’s only fair.

"We fought this matter politically and raised it through a political campaign, [of] which you now know the results.

"It is important that matters be dealt with. We are dealing with a systemic problem. We adopted a decision to fight the abuse of state organs. We took that up as a campaign and we need to remain vigilant all the time," Mashilo said.

Secretary to Parliament’s joint standing committee on intelligence Faith Kwaza said the committee had not received any word from the office of the inspector-general of intelligence about the investigation.

The committee held a closed meeting in Parliament on Tuesday morning.

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