With his energy and tough-minded approach, Robert McBride’s appointment as director of the foreign branch of the State Security Agency (SSA) presents a welcome opportunity to bring much-needed discipline to our dysfunctional spy world. It was in effect disabled during the Zuma years. The former president was more intent on using his spooks to protect himself and snoop on party rivals.

Ironically, McBride himself has been the victim of disinformation from SA intelligence agencies, first under apartheid, then more recently — and alarmingly — from rogue elements within the new regime, many of whom are still in place...

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