President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced the appointment of a "high-level review panel" to examine the workings of the State Security Agency (SSA) but is simultaneously opposing a legal fight by the government’s intelligence watchdog for greater independence. It is not yet clear why or how Ramaphosa wants control over the inspector-general of intelligence to remain in the hands of the security agency, or why he is defending his decision to move former SSA head Arthur Fraser to a powerful new position in correctional services, despite the serious allegations levelled against him.

Earlier in 2018, Inspector-General of Intelligence Setlhomamaru Dintwe went to court after Fraser revoked the security clearance he needed to investigate Fraser himself. Author Jacques Pauw has alleged in his book The President’s Keepers that Fraser set up an illegal network of agents, including his own relatives, that potentially wasted up to R1bn of taxpayers’ money. He further suggested Fraser could ...

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