Minister in the Presidency (State Security) Budget Speech, response by DA
24 May 2022
STATE SECURIT Y
REPUBLIC OF SOUT H AFRICA
Address by the Honourable Minister in the Presidency, responsible for State Security, Mr. Mondli Gungubele, on the occasion of the 2022/23 Budget Vote debate, in Parliament, Cape Town
THEME: NATIONAL SECURITY IS THE PATRIOTIC DUTY AND RESPONSIBILTY OF THE STATE AND THE CITIZENS OF THE REPUBLIC.
Honourable Chairperson and Honourable Members
Chairperson and Members of the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence Deputy Minister Zizi Kodwa
NICOC Coordinator Ambassador Msimang
Director-General of the State Security Agency Ambassador Majola Veterans of the Intelligence Services
Distinguished guests Fellow South Africans,
Let me start by thanking the Honourable Speaker and this august house at large for giving us the opportunity to present this budget policy statement of the State Security Agency for the financial year 2022/23.
This moment affords us the platform not only to reflect and account on our previous commitments and performance as an Agency but also an opportunity to assess our strengths and weaknesses in the mission to fulfill our Constitutional Mandate, which is to defend the safety of our citizens and the territorial integrity of the Republic. In pursuit of this Constitutional Directive, we are guided by the firm principle that National Security is the patriotic duty and responsibility of the State and the citizens of the Republic.
We hold this principle in the highest regard because the bedrock of any intelligence service is its ability to connect with people and to harness their energies in order to achieve its national security goals. It is for this reason that we speak of a doctrinal shift in our undertaking of national security from a state focused, to a national and people centric enterprise based on the fundamental values of our Constitution.
One of the surest ways of strengthening the people centric outlook is to demystify the domain of intelligence – as the High Level Review Panel observed, the phenomenon of excessive secrecy has detached us from the pulse of our nation. While respecting the imperative of the secret nature of intelligence as a craft, the Constitution enjoins us to be more transparent, accountable and open to the needs of the public.
Against this background, the civilian intelligence service is bound to examine the introduction of a fully - fledged public awareness and liaison capacity which will drive the achievement of this strategic objective.
Chairperson, we are meeting at a critical time in the history of our democratic nation where our people are faced with the most challenging conditions especially with regard to their safety and security. This is in addition to the dire threat of enduring poverty, joblessness and the ever rising cost of living.
From a security point of view, it is no exaggeration that our country is gripped by an atmosphere of fear and insecurity, which is in contrast with the provisions of section 198 of our Constitution on national security. If nothing is done to turn the situation around, we will reach the deepest levels of devastation from which it will be difficult to recover. It is for this reason that the centrality and posture of our civilian intelligence service must be enhanced to consolidate the vital rapport between the people and the state, in defense of our hard earned democratic gains.
The marauding gangs in areas like the Cape Flats and parts of Kwa Zulu Natal, Gqeberha, who terrorize communities and carry out assassinations of individuals, the uncontrolled influx of illegal immigrants which often leads to violent clashes with locals because of competition for resources, the wanton destruction of critical economic infrastructure and the general lawlessness across the length and breadth of our country, all constitute the ticking time bomb that we must never allow to discharge.
We are all aware of some of the underlying causes of this scourge some of which were crisply elaborated in the July Report of Prof Sandy Africa. These include the weakness of state institutions, high unemployment especially for the youth, inherited levels of poverty and deep inequality, rampant corruption at various levels of government among others.
Madam Speaker, it is clear that such a situation is untenable for the sustainability of our country and democracy. The State and Government as a whole must make every effort to implement the economic reconstruction and recovery program together with other government interventions to turn our economy around and uplift the lives of our people.
If we do not attend to these immediate challenges, we run the risk of being exposed once again to the unfortunate incidents of July and no one wants to experience such upheavals ever again in our country. We therefore need a solid, State led program with our social partners and the citizens of our country as a whole to find solutions and rid our country of the monster of poverty and inequality.
This budget policy statement sets out our national security priorities and the strategies to enhance the stability of our country. In this financial year, we continue to focus on plans to strengthen our capacity to deliver on our mandate, to re-skill and re-energize our workforce to deliver a better service to our people, and most importantly to reposition the Agency to be a trusted custodian of our national security.
We have an enduring obligation to work together to build a strong and resilient State Security Agency which should play the role of a guiding light and guarantor of our safety, security and prosperity in the country.
REPOSITIONING THE STATE SECURITY AGENCY TO FULFILL ITS CONSTITUTIONAL MANDATE
Madam Speaker, I do not need to repeat the observations of the Mufamadi High Level Review Panel to the effect that we are emerging from a prolonged abuse of Intelligence capacity, an intelligence architecture with a posture and structure of operations which is not responsive to the changed national and global security landscape and many other deformities in the system.
We must admit without reservations that the progress towards implementation of the High Level Review Panel recommendations has been slow and must be expedited without delay. However, a lot of ground has been covered and many other interventions are underway to address the issues raised in the report.
As directed by the review panel, we are already at an advanced stage in the review of our annual planning process in relation to the budgeting process that ensures clear accountability and manageability of budgeting, expenditure and performance against planning priorities and targets.
Later in this financial year, we will release a bigger turnaround plan for the organization which will address a wide range of issues identified in the report and other matters that the organization has prioritized for itself.
With regard to the dis-establishment of the State Security Agency, I am glad to announce that the General Intelligence Laws Amendment Bill has been finalized and the roadmap for its submission to Parliament was presented to the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence. It is anticipated that this Bill will be submitted to Parliament in September 2022. This Bill will enable the establishment of a Domestic arm of the service to focus on Counter-Intelligence and Domestic Intelligence mandate, the establishment of a Foreign Service to focus on foreign intelligence gathering and the re- establishment of the South African National Academy of Intelligence, as schedule 3A Government Component, to focus on Intelligence training as a critical element of skills development and capacity building.
Members will also recall that the report called for the finalization of the National Security Policy and the National Security Strategy. I am glad to announce that both documents were tabled at the SANSS and recommended for internal consultation through the clusters. The National Security Policy has already been presented at the FOSAD and will be tabled back to SANSS for the recommendation to the National Security Council in July. It will then be recommended to parliament for the commencement of public consultations.
DEALING WITH CORRUPTION AND GENERAL MISCONDUCT
Madam Speaker, one of the biggest issues that have stifled the performance of this Agency has been the matter of corruption and an enduring culture of misconduct. The Mufamadi report has made specific recommendations regarding interventions to deal with endemic incidents of fraud, corruption and misconduct.
A number of interventions have been instituted especially with regard to the investigation of corruption since the publication of the Mufamadi report. Though a great deal of work has been undertaken, there has been no tangible results in terms of holding people to account for the misdemeanors.
However, we are glad to announce that in the past two years, the work to uncover acts of corruption and misconduct has intensified and a number of individuals have been arrested with others already being convicted by the commercial crimes courts. In the previous financial year, we finalized eleven disciplinary cases and this current year we have already finalized three of these. Nine disciplinary investigations hearings are in progress and we hope to finalize them before the end of the quarter. A lot still needs to be done including following up on the issues that emanated from the evidence at the Zondo Commission.
Our collaboration with the Investigative Directorate of the National Prosecution Authority has ensured that we cast the net wider in our efforts to hold people to account. The forensic investigators (Lekwa Forensic Services) are currently investigating twenty-six cases (26) within the Agency. We are also encouraged by the work that is being undertaken by our forensic investigation capacity and are determined that we will succeed in this regard.
In this financial year, we will put more resources towards the fight against corruption including strengthening partnerships with fraternal law enforcement authorities. Our march towards a clean, responsible and corruption free State Security Agency is unrelenting and we are confident that we will regain our status as the custodian of National Security in this country.
STRENGTHENING SKILLS CAPACITY AND BUILDING THE ORGANIZATION
The President of the Republic, HE CM Ramaphosa, has on several occasions expressed the need for fit for purpose domestic and foreign intelligence services. The fit for purpose intelligence agencies will be mandated to inject intelligence to assist government in exercising control over risks, threats and opportunities in the advancement of South Africa’s national security objectives.
The task for realizing fit for purpose intelligence capabilities starts with the training of newly recruited intelligence officers. For this reason, we seek to use the Intelligence Officer Development Programme (IODP) to produce not only well-rounded intelligence officers, but fit-for-purpose intelligence officers armed with the requisite competencies (knowledge, skills, and attitudes) based on eleven fields. The (IODP) is developed as an internship program and seeks to provide training to candidate intelligence officers, commonly known as Cadets.
Honourable members, we are excited to announce that there will be a group of 75 candidate intelligence officers that will undergo the Programme next month. These young officers will be trained in Mahikeng for a period of 12 months. The Programme that they will undergo is divided into different training fields including soft-skills development, national security and intelligence management, building blocks of national security strategy, alignment of intelligence to government business, as well as State Security input to government business.
Through our Intelligence Academy (IA), we will continue to provide education, training and development (ETD) interventions in order to improve efficiency in the conduct of both core-business and non-core business functions. This includes engendering the country’s constitutional values in the business of the Agency; asserting the principles of sound financial management and accountability; inculcating and promoting adherence to operational and corporate-related governance mechanisms and ethical conduct.
In order to achieve the above, we will ensure that the continuous conducting of development research aimed at reinforcing curriculum development efforts. Steps will also be taken to ensure that curriculum development and its implementation are based on an accurate and reliable needs assessment.
With regard to the current establishment, I am also glad to announce that we have stabilized the management component with regard to the permanent filling of posts. As we stand here, we have filled the one remaining DDG level post which means all posts at that level are now permanently filled.
We have also filled twenty-one (21) General Manager positions and the remaining vacant posts at this level are all at recruitment phase and should be filled by the end of the second quarter. Thirty-three Manager positions have also been permanently filled and the thirteen remaining are at various stages in the recruitment process. We have also done a great deal of work with regard to the placement of members who previously did not have positions due to organizational changes that happened in the past.
The cherry on top is the appointment of the Director General who had to hit the ground running both in terms of stabilizing the organization internally and restoring our relations with our counterparts around the globe. We are on the road to recovery and we are confident that we have the requisite will and energy to achieve our desired goal.
REBUILDING INTELLIGENCE CAPABILITY TO MEET THE CHALLENGES OF THE 21ST CENTURY
Madam Speaker, there is a trend that countries redefine their view of National Security which involves an expanded conceptualization of security. This paradigm shift is the result of four major changes in our society with regard to
a) technology; b) perception of threats; c) interpretation of human rights and d) ownership of telecommunications.
This has led to a shift towards more proactive and preventive measures against threats such as international terrorism, transnational organized crime, in other words pre-emptive intelligence. For South Africa to align with the global trends, in the medium term, we will be focusing on building and strengthening capability and capacity for a relevant Signals Intelligence as well as reinforcing the legislation.
Electronic or telecommunications technology crimes have been on an upward increase. The advancement of electronic communication technologies introduces both new opportunities and challenges. The convergence of the 5th generation (5G), Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT) and Cloud computing technologies; requires significant research and adaptation to lawful interception solutions.
The technological developments have made internet an increasingly important part of our lives. In an effort to strengthen cybersecurity, the National Communications will continue to build and strengthen capability and capacity in order to proactively combat emerging cyber threats and potential cyber- attacks. The increased incidents of cybercrime require a comprehensive approach on cyber security to protect the country’s critical network infrastructure.
The growing usage of the over-the top (OTT) services, due to their end-to-end encryption, remain a challenge to the infrastructure for lawful interception through the Office for Interception Centers (OIC). In recognition of this, the process of upgrading the Lawful Interception Monitoring system, with advanced state of the art technology that will enable the OIC to deliver a value add service, is underway.
This system will further strengthen the crime fighting capacity of the Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs), and the prosecuting arm of the state to successfully prosecute cases.
The National Treasury and The Criminal Assets Recovery Account (CARA) have made funds available for SSA to develop and implement targeted cybersecurity awareness and training programs within the Law Enforcement Agencies and Prosecutorial Authority. In so doing, SSA will be accelerating the implementation of the National Cybersecurity Policy Framework which incorporates the development of the Cybersecurity legislative framework and the establishment of an integrated cyber capability and capacity. The Cybersecurity Bill is being finalized and will be submitted for Parliament process in this financial year.
The current technological environment renders it necessary for the Office of the Interception Centers (OIC) to keep abreast of the latest developments within the telecommunications space. In recognition of this, the OIC has established a Research and Development (R&D) committee geared towards engaging various stakeholders and advising the OIC on the establishment of a R&D capability, and implementation of relevant 4th industrial revolution programs and beyond, to ensure a sustainable OIC lawful interception capability. There is also significant progress in the process of establishment of the cyber security center within the State Security Agency.
THE RICA JUDGMENT
Honourable members are aware of the historic judgment of AmaBhungane v Minister of Justice and Others, where the Constitutional Court of South Africa, declared some operational sections of the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act, also known as RICA, unconstitutional.
The Constitutional Court found RICA to be deficient, in that it provides no adequate safeguards for the protection of certain rights in the Constitution. As members are aware, the court then afforded Parliament a period of three years in which to cure the constitutional defects it identified in the legislation.
In response to the court judgment, we have started with the internal review processes, and will continue to attend to making proposals on the review of not only the deficient provisions of RICA, but other provisions of this legislation.
This was done with a view of duly updating the legislation, to ensure its adequate response to human rights protection and the current telecommunications era. Arrangements to present review proposals and engage external stakeholders including the telecommunications service providers and the Department of Justice are also underway.
A SECURE REGION, BETTER AFRICA AND A BETTER WORLD
Honourable members will recall that South Africa deployed its troops in Mozambique as part of the SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) on 15 July 2021. This was a mission to support the Republic of Mozambique to combat terrorism, acts of violence and extremism carried out by insurgents of Al – Sunnah – wa Jema’ah since October 2017.
Since its deployment, SAMIM has registered a number of milestones, including recapturing villages, dislodging terrorists from their bases and seizing weapons and warfare material, which has contributed to creating a relatively secure environment for safer passage of humanitarian support.
Going forward, the South African government will continue to support efforts to deal with these terrorist acts in the Region because our own stability is inextricably linked with the stability of the Region.
The other important matter of National Security that we need to clarify involves the repatriation of South African citizens from conflict zones. The recent one being the return of our citizens from Syria.
There are allegations that the South African government is conducting covert operations that have aided ISIS operatives to enter our borders. That allegation is without substance; the reality is that we are obligated by both domestic and international law to take care of our citizens wherever they may be around the globe.
Section 21(3) of the Constitution provides that every citizen has the right to enter and remain in, and reside anywhere in the Republic. However, we must remind the house that we equally have an obligation to ensure that those who contravene the foreign military assistance act are appropriately sanctioned.
The same can be expected with our citizens that are trapped in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The war in Ukraine is a global crisis that should be stopped from any further escalation. All efforts should be directed at commencing or escalating contacts to negotiations directed at urgently securing a ceasefire and all its concomitant elements. This is urgent. We shall add what voice and effort we can as a country towards this historic task.
It has become clearer that institutions and systems for global governance are in need of urgent reform. Global peace, equitable development and conflict prevention and management require all the elements that underpin justice: independence, predictability, equality of all nations before principles and fair censure.
Too often, many lives have been lost in wars, borders redrawn, economies and livelihoods destroyed because of the current system that hardly censured the strong as evenly as the weak.
Too often, many countries and territories have been victim of proxy and hybrid wars because of conflicting interests among or between the strong that the existing institutions and systems for global governance cannot effectively mediate, adjudicate and resolve in an independent, just, predictable and fair manner.
The challenges that humanity and countries are already facing - that are only going to become more acute - from climate change, a growing global population, emigration, urbanisation, inequality and global pandemics call for a movement towards a truly United Nations and not the existing United Nations that is not United.
In conclusion, Chairperson and fellow South Africans, with this budget vote, we want to assure South Africans that when it comes to national security, no South African will be left behind.
STATE SECURIT Y
REPUBLIC OF SOUT H AFRICA
Address by the Honourable Deputy Minister in the Presidency, responsible for State Security, Mr. Zizi Kodwa, on the occasion of the 2022/23 Budget Vote debate, in Parliament, Cape Town
THEME: NATIONAL SECURITY IS THE PATRIOTIC DUTY AND RESPONSIBILTY OF THE STATE AND THE CITIZENS OF THE REPUBLIC.
Honourable Chairperson and Honourable Members
Chairperson and Members of the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence
Honourable Minister in the Presidency, Mondli Gungubele NICOC Coordinator Ambassador Msimang
Director General of the State Security Agency, Ambassador Majola Veterans of the Intelligence Services
Distinguished Guests Fellow South Africans
Let me also take this opportunity to thank this house for affording us the space to present our budget policy statement for the financial year 2022/23. The Minister has already given a broad overview of the state of National Security in the country and what our posture should be as the State Security Agency.
However, before I expand on these broad issues, I want to begin this address by condemning in the strongest terms, the pandemic of Gender Based Violence which has become another threat to our National Security. The extent of abuse and gruesome murders of women and children in this country cannot be tolerated and requires all of us in government, civil society and citizens in general to work together to uproot this scourge. The unspeakable act of violence and abuse against Namhla Mtwa from Umtata, as a case in point, is something that our society should never allow.
The other important issue that our Democratic Society must deal with decisively is this phenomenon of racial polarisation which continues to rear its ugly head across all sectors of our society. We chose to adopt a Constitutional Democracy because we wanted to build a cohesive and prosperous nation, free of discrimination and prejudice.
We cannot abandon that noble objective for the simple reason that our Constitution enjoins us to “heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights. Racial intolerance and prejudice must be fought and eradicated because it is a cancer that stifles instead of building a prosperous nation.
Honourable Members, let us then deal and amplify a few issues that should inform the agenda of the Agency as espoused by the Minister. It is true that the High Level Review Panel on State Security Agency has decried the issue of excessive secrecy and that we should adopt a mind shift that is more accessible, open and responsive to the needs of the public.
Inspired by our founding values of accountability, responsiveness and openness, our constitution guarantees the rights of everyone to access to information and essentially, the right to know. This places a fundamental responsibility on the Agency to be transparent, accountable and responsive to the public whilst safeguarding the basic tenet of secrecy as an intelligence outfit.
As such, we will be engaging on a large scale program of public engagements and outreach with a variety of stakeholders both within and outside the security establishment to share ideas about the state of our national security. As the Minister mentioned earlier, the process to finalize the National Security Policy and National Security Strategy is at an advanced stage and shortly both these strategic documents will require an input from the members of the public.
We will kick-start that public consultation process without delay and that should be a springboard for our quest to create a people centric environment towards giving intelligence a human face. We will return to this house, through the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence to present our comprehensive program of public awareness and stakeholder engagements.
THE CENTRALITY OF NICOC IN THE EARLY WARNING SYSTEM
The other important matter that the Minister highlighted was the concern raised by the expert panel which probed the circumstances that led to the July unrest that erupted in Kwa Zulu Natal and parts of Gauteng. This relates to the centrality of the role that the National Intelligence Coordinating Committee (NICOC) plays in the early warning system of our intelligence environment. The report has noted with a great deal of concern that despite NICOC’s warning through the National Intelligence Estimates and the National Intelligence Priorities, the entirety of government seems not to be responsive to these alerts.
In this regard, we would like to impress on Honourable Members and the rest of government to heed the warnings and calls from NICOC to attend to the issues as contained in the National Intelligence Estimates and the National Intelligence Priorities. This includes human security challenges and general service delivery matters that the people constantly cry for.
If we must avoid a recurrence of the incidents of July and other potential upheavals into the future, we have no choice but to focus seriously on what the NICOC is directing us to do. Prof Sandy Africa’s Panel Report was right, had we taken time to address the issues that were identified by NICOC in its early warning systems, we would probably have avoided most of these conflicts and upheavals as we have seen in July and elsewhere. The growing levels of poverty, inequality, lack of service delivery and social tensions which have been aptly identified in this report were all underscored in the National Intelligence Estimates and National Intelligence Priorities.
NATIONAL SECURITY AS A FUNDAMENTAL PILLAR OF OUR CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY
Honourable Members, we are concerned about the state of our National Security in the country and yes, we need a renewed focus and vigour to deal with this pervasive atmosphere of chaos and wanton disregard for the law. We are redoubling our efforts together with our relevant law enforcement agencies to combat these mindless acts of violence, economic sabotage and lawlessness. The destruction and sabotage of critical infrastructure and National Key Points, including the cable theft and mindless targeting and torching of State Institutions must come to an end now.
Perhaps Honourable Members we need to go back to basics and recite our fundamental values as a country as espoused in our founding document which is the Constitution of the Republic. Section 198(a) provides that “National Security must reflect the resolve of South Africans, as individuals and as a nation, to live as equals, to live in peace and harmony, to be free from fear and want and to seek a better life.”
Section 9(2) of the Constitution provides that “Equality includes the full and equal enjoyment of all rights and freedoms. To promote the achievement of equality, legislative and other measures designed to protect or advance persons, or categories of persons, disadvantaged by unfair discrimination may be taken.”
This is what guides our National Security Policy, which seeks to achieve a National Security framework that is consistent with the Constitution and with a specific focus on Human Security as a priority National Security Agenda. As required by the Constitution the policy proposes measures that would enable the achievement of a national security framework which gives effect to the constitutional imperatives that we have mentioned which includes among others:
Measures that seek promote South Africans, as individuals and as a nation, to live as equals and to live in peace and harmony.
Measures that seek to enable South Africans, as individuals and as a nation, to be free from fear and want;
Measures that seek to promote South Africans, as individuals and a nation, to seek a better life.
In this regard Honourable Members, we need to use our National Security Policy to craft interventions focusing among others on:
The role of the National Security structures in Countering Corruption within Government and Organs of State.
Measures to clarify the role of National Security agencies in the delivery of the basic social services to all South Africans with specific focus on social services directed to the poorest of the poor.
Measures to Counter Organised Crime and Threats to National Security.
Measures to promote the security of critical infrastructures/systems of the State that are the backbone of the provision of critical and essential social services
Measures and the role of the National Security structures in youth development and employment opportunities, National Service and programs intended to promote empowerment inclusion and participation in particular in relation to city and rural economies.
Measures that seek to promote our foreign policy initiatives as an instrument to advance national security agenda.
Measures to promote cooperation by all National security structures in the pursuit of the envisaged National security agenda.
Measures directed at preventing Gender Based Violence as a national security focus.
Measures aimed at promoting Public and Private Partnership in the pursuit of the National Security Agenda envisaged in the Constitution.
Measures aimed at promoting environmental, natural resources (including oceans) and energy security;
Measures aimed at countering organised crime and threats to national security;
We have to do all of these things Honourable Members to achieve our Constitutional obligation which is to safeguard the safety of our citizens and the territorial integrity of the Republic.
I must conclude by reflecting on another important issue and focus area of our State Security Agency which is counter terrorism. The threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters moving across continents, an increased terrorism footprint on the African continent, an increased terror threat in the SADC region, as well as notable challenges posed in countering terrorism financing links, in addition to an elevated national terror threat level requires a rethinking of the country’s counter terrorism measures and architecture.
The reports about the alleged criminal underworld and the financing of terror groups in the country emanates from this reality. To restore the territorial integrity of our country and guarantee our National Security, we must leave no stone unturned in combating these acts of organised crime.
We are equally concerned about the current activities of various pressure groups which do not augur well with the government’s initiatives especially in relation to the thorny issues of migration. It is not that the people should not express their dissatisfaction with the level of service they receive. However, it is the manner in which such grievances are raised, often outside the ambit of the law. It is important that we rebuild the trust with people to ensure constant cooperation.
Once again, we need to instil it in our minds and everyday life that National Security is a patriotic duty and responsibility of the State working with the citizens of the Republic as a whole.