Arthur Fraser. Picture: BUSINESS DAY
Arthur Fraser. Picture: BUSINESS DAY

Rogue State Security Agency (SSA) boss Arthur Fraser must be fired. He has retained his post despite mounting allegations against him that make it clear that he cannot be left in charge of the spy agency. The revelation that Fraser has attempted to shut down the inspector-general of intelligence’s investigations of these allegations makes his removal all the more urgent.

According to court documents filed by the inspector-general, Setlhomamaru Dintwe, Fraser has interfered heavily in his work, including revoking Dintwe’s security clearance. The inspector-general is appointed by Parliament to oversee the conduct of the intelligence agencies and safeguard against exactly this kind of abuse of power. In light of the growing evidence of widespread abuses in the intelligence structures, including corruption, illegal surveillance and continued politicisation, this office needs to be protected from harassment and intimidation. In fact, urgent reforms are needed to strengthen its independence and bolster its powers, and make it more transparent and accountable to the public.

The Right2Know Campaign calls for:

• President Cyril Ramaphosa to fire the securocrats in the agencies, starting with Fraser.

• These agencies be staffed by individuals who are independent, credible and untainted by past abuses of power.

• Police to investigate the allegations against Fraser as a criminal matter.

• Parliament to start a long-overdue reform process for the intelligence structures, including implementation of the Matthews commission’s findings. We want transparency, oversight and accountability at every level.

• Parliament to ensure the inspector-general of intelligence is given the necessary independence and resources to root out the rot in SA’s intelligence agencies, from top to bottom.

Murray Hunter Spokesman, Right2Know