The conspiracy, it turns out, was chillingly real. For years, the whispers suggested former president Jacob Zuma had turned SA’s intelligence apparatus into a tool for factional gain and personal protection. This was devastatingly confirmed last weekend when the government released a "high-level review panel" report on the machinations of the intelligence services, housed under the State Security Agency (SSA). Though the redacted report doesn’t name Zuma directly, it speaks of his position, which leaves no doubt as to who it means. It’s a sobering thought that the panel delivered its conclusion — that SA’s spies were repurposed into being pawns of the president — just weeks before the country celebrates its quarter-century as a democracy. It’s even more sobering to read how SA’s fourth democratically elected president changed the rules to make intelligence operatives swear allegiance not just to SA and the constitution, but also to him directly. One small silver lining is that Zuma’...

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