Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. Picture: VELI NHLAPO
Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. Picture: VELI NHLAPO

The ANC was exposed again on Friday for blurring the lines between party and the state, with a State Security Agency (SSA) operative testifying that money from the organisation was used to fund party factional battles.

According to the operative, who testified under the pseudonym Dorothy, the ANC-aligned Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) members scored more than R2m in 2016 alone.

Dorothy said between March 2014 and September 2016 she was personally involved in the withdrawal of R28m from SSA coffers, which was used for various missions, some  suspicious.

The first suspect payment to MK veterans that Dorothy had personal knowledge of happened in January 2016 during the ANC’s anniversary celebration rally in Rustenburg.

“By instruction of Mr [Thulani] Dlomo (then SSA head of special ops), we used MK veterans who were deployed at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium to assist by identifying and reporting on potential disruptive behaviour of attendees at the event,” said Dorothy. 

“The funds were utilised to cover the expenses stipends, transport fees, accommodation and meals.”

Commission chair deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo expressed shock that state resources were used to fund the security measures of a political party.

The SSA would again fund the MKMVA later that year in the so-called #OccupyLuthuliHouse march. At the height of the factional battles in the ANC in 2016, a faction of the party dissatisfied by the Jacob Zuma presidency organised a march to the party’s head office, Luthuli House, in the Johannesburg CBD. It demanded Zuma’s resignation and that of the national executive committee.

The MKMVA organised a #DefendLuthuliHouse campaign, with its members surrounding the building.

In this regard, MKMVA members were paid a total of R1.85m from the SSA coffers and the money was again released from the state coffers on instruction given by Dlomo, Dorothy said.

Said Dorothy: “I think Mr Dlomo, being the person who requested that we deploy these persons, is the best person to explain what was the rationale to request MK veterans to go to Luthuli House.” 

In February 2017, Dorothy said she was given R1.5m cash to hand over to then state security minister David Mahlobo at his official residence in Cape Town.

She, however, could not say with absolute certainty that the bag that was handed to her to pass to Mahlobo contained the said amount of R1.5m.

“I do not know what the money was meant for. I was deployed to Cape Town for the Sona event. During my deployment I was instructed by Mr [Arthur] Fraser [former SSA spy boss] to receive a bag of money from one security employee of the SSA and to take the same to minister Mahlobo.

“I met the SSA member and collected the bag of money. I then handed the money to the minister Mahlobo personally at his official residence. I cannot recall if he signed for it or not.” 

Dorothy's testimony corroborated that of former acting SSA director-general Loyiso Jafta who, in January, spoke of the wanton expenditure of SSA money for political purposes.

In his testimony to the Zondo commission into state capture in 2017, Jafta said R125m was unaccounted for because reporting was done through word of mouth.

Jafta said only a verbal instruction was needed to get millions of rand to be released. He said the law and the constitution were elective, and executive overreach and unlawful instructions were the order of the day.

Jafta said he believed people who were using intelligence as a cash cow did not think there would ever be accountability.

He said intelligence was also used to carry out personal projects of Zuma.

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