Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

The DA is to take its challenge to former spy boss Arthur Fraser’s appointment to the high court after the Constitutional Court last week dismissed its urgent bid for direct access.

The DA had sought to have Fraser’s appointment set aside, arguing that President Cyril Ramaphosa failed in his constitutional duties by reassigning Fraser when he still had a cloud over his head.

The court finding of May 2 said: "It was concluded that the application should be dismissed as it is not in the interests of justice to grant direct access and the application is not urgent." No costs were awarded.

DA federal council chairman James Selfe said on Sunday the party was hoping to launch an application in the High Court in Pretoria this week.

In April, Ramaphosa moved Fraser from the position of director-general of the State Security Agency, making him the national commissioner of correctional services.

This happened two days before Fraser and the inspector-general of intelligence, Setlhomamaru Dintwe, were set for a showdown in the High Court in Pretoria. Dintwe had wanted to interdict Fraser’s decision to revoke his security clearance.

Dintwe accused Fraser of revoking his top-secret security clearance as a way of thwarting an investigation in which Fraser himself was directly implicated.

In its application, the DA contended that there were prima-facie indications of Fraser’s dishonesty, and that, because of the important constitutional obligations he had in his new position, and for other reasons, the case should heard by the Constitutional Court.

Ramaphosa’s spokeswoman, Khusela Diko, said the president welcomed the Constitutional Court’s order.

Last week in the National Assembly, Ramaphosa indicated that he had instructed the minister of state security, Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba, to attend to governance issues at the agency.

As part of the clean-up, Ramaphosa has said he would establish a review panel to look into whether the State Security Agency and the intelligence services needed to be restructured.