South Africa: NIA reporting to Malema?

The National Intelligence Agency (NIA) is in the firing line for once again involving itself in the ruling party’s factional battles. This time around the NIA allegedly provided ANC Youth League president Julius Malema with a list of people who are apparently seeking the destruction of President Jacob Zuma supporters.

The NIA played a critical role in getting Zuma off the hook on corruption charges just before the provincial and national elections in April last year. Malema revealed on SAfm yesterday that he had handed the list – compiled by intelligence officers – to the police for investigation.

Democratic Alliance Youth spokesman Khume Ramulifho slammed the NIA for “reporting” to the league, instead of to the state.

“If the National Intelligence Agency is giving its intelligence reports to the head of the ANCYL – a party political position with absolutely no public duties or functions – this constitutes a fundamental conflation of party and state,” he said.

He added: “It is true that South Africa’s intelligence services have been systematically warped over the past few years to serve a number of political agendas, which have nothing to do with their mandate.  “Nevertheless the very reason why intelligence services are run by the state and not political parties is because on the one hand the immense power they wield can be abused, and on the other hand they deal with highly sensitive issues, which are best handled objectively.

Independent legal expert Kevin Malunga said Malema’s disclosure about the NIA was certainly ill-advised and would further dent the credibility of the agency.

“There is no solid democracy where open abuse of state institutions is tolerated really and I don’t see any veteran in the ANC smiling at this.

“Malema certainly needs a well- educated, savvy publicist to avoid such a litany of gaffes,” Malunga told The Citizen.

Police were yesterday unable to confirm whether Malema had handed them a list of people to investigate. Gauteng police spokesman Captain Julia Classen yesterday said she could not confirm that any officer or officers had received the “list”

National Police Commissioner spokesman Nonkululeko Mbatha was not available for comment. Senior Superintendent Vishnu Naidoo said he too could not confirm that anybody had received such a list.

Source: www.citizen.co.za, 20100224

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