Hansard: Appropriation Bill : Debate on Vote No 10: National Treasury (State Security)
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 01 Jun 2011
No summary available.
EPC – COMMITTEE ROOM: E249
Thursday, 2 June 2011 Take: 98
START OF DAY
THURSDAY, 02 June 2011
PROCEEDINGS OF THE EXTENDED COMMITTEES OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The House met at 14:00.
The Chairperson took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers and meditation.
The MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY
Start of Day
The MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY: Chairperson, Ministers and Deputy Ministers present, hon members, distinguished guests, members of the Intelligence Community, Intelligence Veterans and fellow South Africans.
On 02 May 1994, President Nelson Mandela called on all South Africans to:
Join together to celebrate the birth of democracy, to build the future together to work together to tackle the problems we face as a nation. We must, together and without delay, begin to build a better life for all South Africans.
To us this includes fighting poverty, creating jobs, building houses, providing education and bringing peace and security for all.
17 years down the line, as we table this Budget Vote, the nation has done so much in redressing the socio-economic inequalities caused by decades of apartheid and colonial oppression. We are therefore pleased to report to this House that our nation is prospering, stable and secure.
There are no discernible threats to our constitutional order. The strategic choices that we have made as the ANC government have ensured that, together we develop a strong patriotism and national identity, strengthen and protect our democratic institutions.
Notwithstanding the prevailing peace and security, we should remain vigilant and united in our collective effort to uphold National Security of our young developmental state.
We are relentlessly pursuing this mandate by focusing on the following objectives: The development of an integrated and focused multi-source collection capability that advances our national and mitigate against threats identified in the National Intelligence Estimate; the development of a highly effective and target driven counterintelligence capability to defend our country's national interests; and these priorities will be supported by focused skills development, improved analytic and technical capabilities, good corporate governance, accountability and an organisational culture that carefully balances secrecy which is required to achieve our mandate and openness based on the values of commitment to democracy, loyalty and professionalism.
The restructuring of the civilian intelligence structures into the State Security Agency has indeed taken off, under the stewardship of the Director-General, Amb Jeff Maqetuka. There is no going back to the duplication of the past. It is appropriate, at this stage to thank Professor Sandy Africa – I am not sure where she is- who was seconded by the University of Pretoria as head of our Corporate Services to guide the integration of different agencies. She has been the engine of this restructuring process. Prof Africa, as you go back to this outstanding African institution, kindly convey our gratitude to the Senior Vice-Principal, Professor Chris De Beer, and the Principal, Professor Cheryl de la Rey for the patriotism, loyalty and partnership in building this new department. Indeed, "working together we can build a safe nation and a secure world"
We have concluded and approved the new structures of the Agency. We have filled critical posts of the Chief Financial Officer, Chief Information Officer and Head: Internal Audit. In addition, we have tightened up our regulatory mechanism by issuing the necessary directives and uniform conditions of service for the Agency.
Due to the different IT systems that were in place, the process of integration of the IT systems is taking longer than expected in order to ensure that information is secured and migrated properly to maintain accuracy and integrity.
However, we have made progress, in that now we have Single Asset Register; Payroll, Budget Management, Financial Accounting and Procurement Systems.
It is envisaged that the system integration process will be finalised in the next financial year and would result in savings to the organisation.
As part of the next milestone, we will continue to make the appointment, particularly in the senior management of the Agency.
We will focus our efforts in addressing the imbalance in gender and ageing personnel profile. Chairperson, in order to codify the Presidential Proclamation of 2009 that created the State Security Agency , we are completing the preliminary consultations on the State Security Bill, which is due to be considered by Cabinet before tabling it in Parliament this year.
In his 2011 State of the Nation Address, President Jacob Zuma declared 2011 as a year for job creation. We will focus on the retention of our members and recruitment of the young and unemployed of our society.
This year, we plan to fill approximately 300 posts. We shall prioritise the filling of all vacant posts in areas such as Analysis, Vetting, Economic Intelligence, Border Intelligence and ICT Security.
The restructuring process also involved the development and integration of our intelligence technology platforms. We have conducted an audit of these technology resources at the IOC, National Communication Centre and COMSEC, Interception and Communications Security facilities.
We continue to provide lawful intercepts to law enforcement agencies. In the last financial year, the quality of our information was further enhanced by the use of new positioning tools. This contributed significantly in our fight against crime.
This contributed significantly in our fight against crime. In this financial year, we intend to conclude policy on electronic direction system as well as distribution network in order to improve service delivery and to reduce the turnaround time.
We will do this after consultations with the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence and Judge Khumalo, who is responsible for issuing directions on communications.
The State Security Agency has the responsibility of determining the National Security Posture within the organs of state. COMSEC conducted security assessment in 135 organs of state, consisting of 32 national departments, 24 provincial departments, 28 municipalities and 51 Public Entities. In the coming year we will focus in obtaining full international accreditation of our National Trust Centres.
We have made significant progress in finalising the National Security Strategy alongside our conceptualisation of the National Interest Doctrine. Consultations with critical role players in and outside the security structures have been initiated to enrich the concepts. The State Security Agency has conducted research to address long term challenges in the food, water and energy security sectors.
Another strategic sector that has been identified is Dual Use Technologies that have both security and commercial applications. These technologies involve major aspects of our country's competitiveness and innovative capacity for commercial market and national security.
In this financial year, the Agency will intensify its work of coordinating the Inter-Departmental Task Team that is conducting an assessment of resources and activities of the peaceful programs related to the field of nuclear, biological, chemical, aerospace and missile technologies. The Task Team is expected to develop a national strategy for promoting research, technological development, innovation, coordination, integration and oversight in the field of these dual use technologies in the Republic. The strategy will also ensure that these technologies do not find their way into the hands of criminals and terrorist networks.
In 2010, the National Intelligence Coordinating Committee, NICOC led the work of stakeholder departments to prepare for the setting up of the Border Management Agency, BMA. This work was based on the understanding that the BMA will be a new structure s with requisite powers to enable the state to address the long-standing problems of fragmentation, duplication and ineffective use of resources in the border environment.
The model approved by the JCPS Cabinet Committee is moving away from the current coordinating to an integration model that provides for the integration of functions, staff, infrastructure and the centralisation of authority around issues of security at our ports of entry. The migration to the new model will be completed by 2014.
In 2010, we reported the loss in the gold industry amounting to R6,7 Billion. We have, with the cooperation and collaboration of other government departments subsequently scoped the extent of the illicit economy which is estimated to be about 10% of our GDP quantified to a loss of about 178 billion rands to the economy. This illicit economy has the potential of seriously compromising the New Economic Growth Path and is costing South Africa hundreds of thousands of jobs.
The scoping exercise revealed that this economic threat was rife in the mining, textile and tobacco industries. These illicit activities create unfair competition to legitimate businesses and industries; erode the corporate tax base; distort trade; violate foreign exchange regulations and create conducive conditions for espionage.
This year the Security and Economic clusters of government will focus on attracting and developing specialised skills and sophisticated technologies to counter this illicit economy. The eradication of fraud and corruption within the Security Cluster is an important prerequisite to fight this scourge in society as a whole. The State Security Agency, working together with the Financial Services Board, FSB, completed the investigation relating to the management of Group Life Scheme for the members of the civilian intelligence community. The report found that there were cases of theft, fraud and possible corruption by the insurance broker; negligence by the insurance company; and mismanagement by the Intelligence management. The insurance company paid a significant ex gratiaamount to compensate the fund. Those who committed fraud, particularly the broker, have been referred to the police and the National Prosecution Authority for investigation and prosecution. In addition, the FSB withdrew the licence of the insurance broker and disbarred the owner for a period of five years.
Chairperson, Comsec will continue to focus on the protection of critical national infrastructure and information security. We have received positive feedback from the piloting of the early-warning system conducted at Telkom and the State Information Technology Agency, SITA, indicating the need for a rigorous roll-out of this programme.
Chairperson, I am pleased to note that the Adhoc Committee on the Protection of Information Bill progressing well to date and I hope that it would conclude this work in the near future. This critical piece of legislation will be central to our resolve of dealing with clear and present dangers that threaten our national security. We have commenced with the drafting of regulations and directives to prioritise the implementation of this Bill when it becomes law.
We seek to deal with the backlog on vetting which is a critical aspect of the counter-intelligence doctrine in the next 3 years. We intend to extend our vetting field units beyond national departments to prioritized provincial and local spheres. Accordingly, this endeavor will be accompanied by the exponential increase of our vetting and security advising capacity through recruitment and technology.
We also intend to utilize Intelligence Veterans to improve the turn-around time. Particular focus will also be dedicated to the proper appointment and training of security managers across government departments and other State entities. Securing major events has become a flagship programme of the Agency. We continue to build on the lessons of securing events such as the 2010 FIFA World Cup. In May, this year we conducted successful Local Government Elections.
In May, this year we conducted successful Local Government Elections. The SSA screened over 60 000 IEC officials and provided regular briefings and risk assessment to the IEC.
We have advanced plans to secure the 123rd International Olympic Committee General Council in Durban in the next few weeks. Similarly, we have commenced with the preparations to secure the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, UNFCCC, COP 17, in Durban later this year.
We have also begun work to secure the celebration of 100 year of the African National Congress. This is turning out not to be an ANC or South African event as it is being claimed but the whole of Africa and the democratic world. We will intensify our efforts in strengthening the consultation mechanisms, making sure that a conducive working environment is created for all our members.
Chairperson, since the beginning of this year, Africa has seen a number of developments, positive and negative in its various regions. SADC continues to be the most stable region despite challenges in Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho and Swaziland. Our radar screen will focus on these countries, in our quest for democracy, peace and stability.
In addition, we have also launched our SADC Early Warning Centre in Botswana. In East Africa, we have improved relations, particularly, with Rwanda, which is a positive development after our Heads of States have met. However, we remain concerned over the situation in Somalia and the threat of increasing threats of piracy, particularly, on our eastern shores. We also remain concerned with the situation in Sudan and we support those who were involved in the negotiations.
The popular uprisings in North Africa and Middle East, has brought into sharp focus the quest for freedom. We thus call, in Africa and beyond, for the recognition of these legitimate democratic aspirations, an end to the use of force and violence. Let me reiterate the AU call to the end of all hostilities in Libya and call on all Libyan authorities to be involved in a transition to democracy through inclusive dialogue and creation of democratic institutions. [Applause.]
We also call on NATO to go beyond what was required by the resolution between 1970 and 1973 to ensure that we stop the shooting of ordinary citizens and in order to deal with the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Libya. In Cote d'Ivoire, we will continue to work with President Ouattara and assist them in ensuring unity and the reconciliation processes.
Chairperson, as you know that we are now members of BRICS; we are coordinating BRICS countries in order to intensify our efforts in restructuring the UN institution, particularly the UN Security Council. I thank you.
Mr C V BURGESS / LIM.../ END OF TAKE
The MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY
Mr C V BURGESS: Hon Chairperson, hon Ministers that might be present in the House, hon members, members of the intelligence community, the Inspector General of Intelligence Ambassador, Advocate Radebe and distinguished guests.
The Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence commonly referred as the JSCI has in terms of legislation, an oversight function over all intelligence entities that have been established in our country. You are aware, as the hon Minister has now reminded you, that this Budget Vote relates, however, to the Ministry of State Security and the recently established State Security Agency also known as SSA. This intelligence family, for which the hon Minister is responsible, is generally referred to as the Civilian Intelligence.
We do, nonetheless, have here in our presence today, members of other intelligence entities; these are Defence Intelligence, DI, for which the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans is responsible. Crime Intelligence is a division of the South African Police Service, SAPS, and fall under the Minister of Police. I mention this hon Chairperson, since a practice has developed at this Budget Vote, where speakers have used the opportunity to address matters that also relate to Defence Intelligence and Crime Intelligence and some of my colleagues will indeed be doing this. Hon Minister Cwele, has spoken well, and having regard for what he said, we are generally in agreement, particularly as he has concentrated on the question of national security of the Republic. Hon Chairperson, when I spoke at this Budget Vote last year, it was on the eve of the Soccer World Cup, I too spent considerable time speaking on matters of national security.
At that time, I reminded the House, that there were good people who work silently and dutifully out of the public eye, and who play a major role in protecting the people of this country by the nature of the work that they do. I said then, that these people never get credit for the work they do. Yet, they are the ones that are at the forefront of producing the products that warn us of threats to our national security. I also said that we need to acknowledge their contribution. Hon Chairperson, I moreover made reference to section 198 of our Constitution, which sets out the principles which govern the national security of the Republic. One of these principles is:
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.
If our national security is to reflect the resolve of our people, as provided for by the Constitution, then it is essential that we as a people develop a deeper understanding of just what national security is. While this is a matter that impacts on all our people and in particular the masses, today, it is so called legal experts, academics, political experts and commentators who are the ones that appear to drive the agenda of what constitutes the national security of the Republic.
Yet there is no single universally accepted definition of national security. If one were to take a typical dictionary definition, you could be misled. For example, the Farlex Dictionary, defines national security as:
The requirement to maintain the survival of the nation-state through the use of economic, military and political power and the exercise of diplomacy.
Today it is generally accepted that the concept of national security remains ambiguous, since it originated from simpler definitions which initially emphasized the freedom from military threats and political coercion.
However, following the holocaust of the Second World War where the estimated death toll was said to be in a vicinity of 55 million people, the international approach and thinking on national security changed. Accordingly, in the area of peace and security they developed the concept of human security. This has probably been the most fundamental change in thinking on peace and the prevention of conflict.
This revolutionary idea of national security has resulted in a new approach and more recent definitions have adopted a much more recent definitions have adopted a much broader approach to national security. Therefore, new definitions include elements such as political, economic security and environmental security. So we see a more modern and recent definition, which is freely accessible on the internet, covers the point I am making:
National security then is the ability to preserve the nation's physical integrity and territory, to maintain its economic relations with the rest of the world on reasonable terms, to preserve its nature, institution and governance from disruption from outside and to control its borders.
The point hon Chairperson, hon members, is that, what constitutes national security of a state differs from state to state. It is therefore important that we as South Africans give effect to section 198 of our Constitution and develop our own understanding of what we see as matters that affect our national security.
I have raised the matter of national security hon Chairperson, because there is a misconception amongst many people that national security matters simply is about guns and war. This is not the case. That is the approach that is adopted very often by our experts that we see on television, TV, commentators and other academics.
The Ad HOC Committee dealing with the Protection of Information Bill has to look very seriously at the question of national security. It now forms the sole basis on which information can be classified. I therefore, urge the public and hon members to consider, what really the matters that affect our national security are. For this could help in broadening your understanding of what the Bill is trying to do.
Hon Chairperson one cannot end a debate on national security without having regard to the co-ordination of the work that is done by our intelligence entities. Thus it is essential for the National Intelligence Co-ordinating Committee, NICOC, to function effectively. It is an area that we as a JSCI have noted needs considerable attention hon Minister. NICOC is an institution created by a Constitution. NICOC, in the past was responsible for producing wonderful work. We trust that the new NICOC principles will urgently attend to bringing NICOC back to its full operational potential. Since a dysfunctional NICOC is clearly going to affect our national security.
In conclusion, hon Chairperson, it is very important because it appears that some of the hon members have got no respect for what really constitute our national security and yet we have continuous complaints from people about what has been done. If you think of crime and guns yet the threads that are facing our country and national security is much broader. It's only a narrow minded thinking person that is going to reduce the national security to the level that some of the commentators and to hon members that are here whispering in the background are thinking. Hon Chairperson, we have heard the Minister, we are in agreement of his speech and the budget and we support it. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr D J STUBBE / AZM MNGUNI / END OF TAKE
Mr C V BURGESS
Mr D J STUBBE: Hon Chairperson, Minister, members and guests, because of the secretive nature of the operations of intelligence services, these services have often being abused for political purposes. This occurrence is not unique to South Africa, but it was certainly a feature of the security service during the apartheid era.
Unaccountable officials of immense power were able to abuse systems and distort outcomes, resulting in serious infractions of the rule of law. During the 1980s and early 1990s the securocrats created a parallel state known as the National Security Management System, which bypassed even those limited mechanisms of parliamentary oversight that were available.
The culminations of those processes were a declaration of successive states of emergencies in the 1980s, in which people were detained, tortured and even killed. During the constitutional negotiations it was possible to insert provisions that guarantee proper oversight of the Security and Intelligence Services by Parliament, into the Constitution.
Section 199(8) of the Constitution provides that, to give effect to the principle of transparency and accountability, multiparty parliamentary committees must have oversight of all security services in a manner determined by national legislation or the rules and orders of Parliament.
The Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence, JSCI, is established in terms of Section 2 of the Intelligence Oversight Act, 1994. The Act makes provisions, subject to the Constitution, to perform oversight functions set out in the Act.
Section 5 provides that, the committee shall conduct its functions in a manner consistent with the protection of national security. In practice, members must be security vetted by the National Intelligence Agency, NIA, thereafter the committee should meet in a secured facility across the road; all its sessions should be a secret; no information or documentation may leave the committee room; and no member may disclose any information obtained in the course of committee briefings or deliberations.
Obviously, this severely limited our ability to debate issues relating to state security publicly, in any meaningful way. One of the functions of the Joint Standing Committee of Intelligence is to obtain an audit report compiled in accordance with Section 4(6) of the Auditor-General Act (No.12 of 1995) from the auditor-general.
After obtaining the report, they should consider the following: Firstly, the financial statements of the Services, Academy and Communications Security, Comsec; and secondly, on any report issued by the auditor-general on the affairs of the services and the intelligence services entities, and report thereon to Parliament, within two months after the 31 March of each year, on the activities of the committee during the preceding year, together with the findings made by it and the recommendations it deems appropriate, and to provide a copy to the President and the responsible Minister.
Then there is the so called Secret Service Evaluation Committee, which is obliged to submit a report on the secret services budget and expenditure to the JSCI in order to ensure proper oversight. However, this committee has not been established. Then again, we are still awaiting the annual report from the services and entities.
During this year, the JSCI held budget discussions with the Civil Intelligence Services and Entities, Crime Intelligence and Defence Intelligence. These discussions form an integral part of our oversight exercise.
All JSCI members are vetted in accordance with the prescribed Act, but still we not in a position to obtain much needed documentation. The JSCI should be in a position to oversee quarterly reports and be pro-active but instead we are fulfilling a similar role with Scopa, where we have to work with historic information.
The seriousness of oversight cannot be overemphasised. If we cannot get this right, we might easily find ourselves in the same situation like the 1980's high point of unaccountability. Currently, the only available document from the auditor-general to members of the JSCI was high pro-forma statement that audits were performed according to the necessary audit practices and a category declaring his opinion.
No financial statements were attached in order to do proper oversight prior to this Budget Vote debate. If we as a committee want to do justice to our task and a service to Parliament and our country, we should look at exploring mechanisms to change the practice from working without historic information to a committee that is pro-active and dealing with real time information.
Since April 2011, the services as well as our Minister, were dominant in local newspapers and abroad, whilst the following were published, and I quote:
South African Spooks back to their old tricks, unfortunately the consolidation of immense powers in the hands of spies loyal to Jacob Zuma and the ANC, likely signal worse to come, if not for the party then for democracy.
This was in the Mail and Guardian, on 8 April 2011.
South Africa's crime intelligence are completely dysfunctional. Tensions between Cele and Mdluli were running high after two police intelligence officers paid unannounced visits to the Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela's office.
This was in the City Press of 3 April 2011.
This is only a small sample of behavioural actions by individuals in the security environment that have a negative impact on their functionality. Actions like these should not happen in open and transparent society. It is precisely for this reason that I think the JSCI should be trusted with timeless information in order to assist with their oversight mandate. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr N J J van R KOORNHOF
Mr D J STUBBE
Mr N J J van R KOORNHOF: Chairperson, I am not a member of this committee, so I can speak more freely. I have Googled famous spies and came across the 10 most famous spies according to Google. It was clear that these men and women paid the highest price and many died young.
The most famous one was Mata Hari, the stage name for the Dutch born Margaretha Geertruida Zelle who was an exotic dancer and a high class prostitute in Paris. She spied for Germany and was executed at the age of 41 by a firing squad. There is no South African connection on the top 10 list. Five out of 10 famous spies, spied for the Soviet Union. When you are dealing with national intelligence it is and state security, it is all about trust.
Today I want to address the topic, whether the abuse of state security is not a serious challenge to the rule of lLaw in South Africa. Since May 2008 we have experienced often confusing legal battles between what appears to be sectional interest in the legal profession.
Initially, the matter centred on accusations by constitutional judges and that Judge Hlophe tried to influence their decisions in the case against the President. The battles and debates that raged since that had little to do with whether citizens can trust the independence of the judiciary or whether Judge Hlophe did try to influence the judges or not. It was all about power and intelligence.
The National Prosecuting Authority, NPA, decision to drop the charges against the President was a vindication for many ANC supporters who had argued that it had acted unfairly to influence the timing of the trial to undermine the President's changes of being elected the leader of the ANC.
Serious questions were raised by the fact that how the evidence of the NPA's Leonard McCarthy indiscretion was obtained by the President's legal team from the National Intelligence Agency, NIA. There are still unresolved questions. Why was it necessary for the NIA to monitor the NPA's telephone calls? Are they still doing it? Are they monitoring Members of Parliament's telephone calls? Are they monitoring Cabinet Members' telephone calls?
It is all about the threat to the separation of powers which is the cornerstone of the rule of law. Let me remind this House what the meaning of the rule of law is. Rule of law provides that no person is above the law; no one can be punished by the state except for a breach of the law; and that no one can be convicted of breaching the law expect in a manner set forth by the law.
So, no Rex Lex, meaning that the king is law, but rather the law is king. We are a Reichstag; call it a constitutional state in which the exercise of governmental power is constrained by law; where you are transparent of all state acts and can review state actions by independent organs. Is this the case?
The Institute for Security Studies puts it bluntly, and I quote:
The National Intelligence Authority appears to have bowed to political influence in both monitoring the head of the NPA and handing the tapes to President Zuma's legal team.
Exactly three years after the NPA incident, Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale called a press conference in order to respond to a purported intelligence report implicating him and other ANC leaders in the plot to get rid of President Zuma as party leader.
Minister Sexwale was also implicated together with ANC heavyweights Cyril Ramaphosa and Mathews Phosa in a plot to unseat Thabo Mbeki. At that media conference, he asked pertinent questions why those rumours always coincide with the run-up to ANC's conferences. [Interjections.]
At this media conference, Minister Sexwale said, and I am quoting him,... [Interjections.] I am now quoting your Minister.
The incident showed a serious abuse of state power and resources in the conduct of illegal and criminal activity by high ranking members of the police.
Now the question is, what is the NIA doing about this? And will the Minister assure us in this House that the NIA will not be involved again and that it will protect and honour the rule of law at all times. Only time will tell in the run-up to the 2012 ANC conference. I thank you. [Applause.]
Prof C T MSIMANG / JN .../TM / END OF TAKE
Mr N J J VAN R KOORNHOF
Prof C T MSIMANG:
Mr N B FIHLA:
Mr N M KGANYAGO
Mr N B FIHLA
Mr N M KGANYAGO: Chairperson, Minister and hon members, gone are the days when state security was employed to serve the interests of a minority group that viewed the majority of this country as a threat to their security. Was the late Steve Biko a threat to state security? I don't know what the answer is. Today, we believe, we have a state security whose role is to protect all the citizens of South Africa irrespective of colour, gender, creed and political affiliation. This important department has a constitutional obligation to observe utmost impartiality in the execution of its duties.
Chairperson, it is important for the state security to adhere to the important principle of impartiality in carrying out its duties, however intense the political pressures of the day. As citizens of this country, we therefore, quite correctly, expect the state security to serve us with impeccable diligence.
The UDM would like to urge all the employees of state security to adhere to the principle of political neutrality at all times in the service to the people of South Africa. This will go a long way towards ensuring that State Security Department wins the faith and confidence of the people of South Africa.
The UDM would also like to urge the Inspectors General of Intelligence Services to speed up and complete the restructuring of State Security Units under her control for the purpose of effective service delivery in the intelligence environment.
The UDM supports this vote. I thank you. [Applausse.]
Mrs M N MATLADI
Mr N M KGANYAGO
Mrs M N MATLADI: Hon Chairperson, it is perhaps pleasing to note that South Africa's debt levels remain relatively low in comparison with developed countries and in line with other of developing countries. It is said that we are recovering from recession and that we are better placed to take growth opportunities. I would like to know whether we have identified such growth opportunities and how are they translated in order to respond to the current problems that we face like unemployment and the escalating levels of poverty?
I am pleased with the attention that is focused on investment in infrastructure projects, and concur that there is a need to develop better capital planning, more efficient budget allocations and improved capital expenditure. I would like to point out though that the National Treasury has been consistently improving on their planning, nevertheless other departments at national level, provincial level and as well as the local sphere of government have been seriously lagging behind. I am of the opinion that unless those skills that are in treasury are transferred to other departments, provinces and local sphere. It makes very little difference on what we, as the citizens experience as the end product.
I applaud the move on establishment of a specialised services unit and I am of the opinion that this would enhance treasury's oversight role. I hope the commitment to zero tolerance on fraud and corruption will equal a commitment to stand and support principles over people. The outcry on fraud devouring state institutions is fuelled by little or nothing done when acts of corruption have been exposed. Tender related fraud and corruption continues to delay our progress on infrastructural development and has reached grossly unacceptable levels across all spheres of government.
I noted from the annual report that the Legal Services Unit managed more than one hundred litigations and I would be interested in knowing generally what such litigations relate to? There is an interesting contradiction that I picked from the annual report. The Audit Committee states that there has been no material deviation in the functioning of controls, procedures and systems; however, there is a recorded irregular expense of R2 7 million relating to a tender process not being followed. I am curious to know how you can have an irregular expenditure when you have not deviated from controls and procedures.
With these inputs hon Chairperson the UCDP supports the budget on National Treasury Security. [Applauses.]
Ms S C N SITHOLE / GG / END OF TAKE
Mrs M N MATLADI
Mrs M N MATLADI
Ms S C N SITHOLE: Hon Chair, thank you for allowing me to speak in this debate. However, I want to make a confession in advance. The confession is that stuff I am going to say here come from my most reliable resources. One, the Freedom Charter; two, the notes supporting the Auditor-General's, AG, presentation to the Association of Public Accounts Committees' annual conference on the theme: Measures for implementing the public sector governance; three, the parliamentary oversight of the security sector; four, principles, mechanisms and practices by the Geneva Centre for Democratic Control of Armed Forces together with the Inter-Parliamentary Union; and the last one comes from my heart, out of my passion and love for the ANC and my country, South Africa.
I want to thank the ANC for liberating this country and for allowing even rural women like myself to express their minds on issues of state security. For many years women were relegated to house chores, with the result that their humble wisdom was never sought in important matters of the state. The result is that many South African brains have lived and died without getting any opportunity to contribute to the security of their own country. What a waste of brains! What a shame! Long live ANC long live!
HON MEMBERS: Long live!
The ANC has tasked me to come and support this budget. I am supporting the budget because the ANC supports it. I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to the entire intelligence community. You have proved beyond any reasonable doubt that you love your country, South Africa. You proved many prophets of doom wrong during the 2010 Fifa World Cup.
Fears of insecurity in South Africa were canvassed day and night. Alarm bells were jingled by some unpatriotic individuals and institutions in order to discourage visitors to come to our beautiful country. But you, the intelligence family, worked quietly and fearlessly day and night to restore the integrity of the full independence of the state of the Republic of South Africa.
As your committee, we sometimes got very scared and summoned you to check whether there is or shall be security on our shores. The defence intelligence said: "Fear not." The crime intelligence said: "We have our eyes on the ball, don't panic."
And all of you, working together, restored our confidence and you indeed delivered the Fifa World Cup to South Africa and Africa. Well done! [Applause.] May God, our maker, give you grace. We cannot thank you enough. You have indeed served your country with distinction. May God give you more strength.
The ANC, as a true vanguard of the people of our country, is trusted and loved by its citizens because it listens to the people. It is directed by the will of South African citizens. When the people of South Africa spoke in one voice at the congress of the people in Kliptown on 26 June 1955, they said:
There shall be peace and friendship. South Africa shall be a fully independent state which respects the sovereignty of all nations. Let all people who love their people and their country now say as we say here: These freedoms we will fight side by side throughout our life until we have won our liberty.
Yes, indeed, government, Parliament and all the people of South Africa, let's stand together and ensure the security of our country, South Africa.
In order to sustain the good work done by government on security issues, Parliament must do its oversight work efficiently and effectively. The Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence will have to strictly demand compliance with financial management in the security sector because a central feature of good government is maintaining the use of available public resources for efficient service delivery and creation of public value.
In 1999 South Africa moved from the Exchequer Act to the Public Finance Management Act, Act 1 of 1999. This Parliament in its wisdom passed that piece of legislation in order to do two things: one, to allow management to manage, but keep them accountable to this legislature. The Public Finance Management Act insists on timely reports - quarterly reports.
The thinking behind the regulation of reporting on time is to enable administration to detect challenges on time and to report to Parliament on time. This will ensure that, at the end of the financial year, this Parliament can have good accountable and transparent information for the owners of the resources, that is the general public of the Republic of South Africa.
For the citizens of South Africa, financial news will only be good news if at the end of the year the Auditor-General can confirm that the audit evidence and financial statements prepared by the accounting officer are sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for his or her audit opinion. It is necessary for the department to co-operate with the work of the Auditor-General in his audit queries. Always remember that the preparation of financial statements is the responsibility of the department. The audit by the Auditor-General assists to enhance public confidence in the credibility of the financial statements.
In the accounting discipline, we believe that financial statements are management tools. Therefore, the department should prepare these almost monthly for itself because it can be done. This will assist management to take informed decisions at all times.
Our advice to the department is as follows. Respond timeously to the management letters from the Auditor-General's office. Give frank explanation to the Auditor-General's queries. Remember to come to your committee and explain and to seek opinion and advice for any unforeseen circumstances in the expenditure of your allocated budget. It is better to come before. But if is not possible, come immediately thereafter. What is more, come at least once per quarter, in line with the Public Finance Management Act's quarterly reporting requirement. Although the inherent nature and dynamics of the security sector represent a real challenge to effective parliamentary oversight, there is sufficient political will form members of the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence to hold the intelligence community to account.
From time immemorial, national sovereignty and security have been considered essential to a viable state. In nowadays, the part that is played by those whose job is to provide security is undergoing considerable change. Today, effective parliamentary oversight has thus become all the more crucial. Therefore, it has become important for the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence to be hands-on with issues affecting the state security.
We are always combat-ready to do our work. Therefore, when we insist on compliance with the compliance legal framework, it will be in good faith. We will always be ready to do our job for which we have been elected to do and for which we are timeously paid every month by this Parliament. So, we will do our work without fear or favour. Our job is to hold this government to account because that is what our employers, the voters, want from us. A job is a job, Minister, we will hold you to account. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr T W COETZEE ///NPM//GM (ed) / END OF TAKE
Ms S C N SITHOLE
Mr T W COETZEE:
Ms S T NDABENI
Mr T W COETZEE
Ms S T NDABENI: Hon Chairperson, I don't understand why we are having hon members behaving like we are in a cry-baby meeting here, but nevertheless...Hon Minister of State Security and deputies present, hon Members of Parliament, beloved guests in the gallery, let me greet you in the name of our Lord.
In 14 days time we will be commemorating 35 years since the 1976 uprising. This was more than just an event, but was a patriotic achievement that helped our country take a different shape. As a result of that uprising, today we are enjoying the benefits of the gains they fought for. Today, I stand in front of you as an hon Member of Parliament all because of their dedication and heroism. It is now my generation's responsibility to follow in their footsteps in a way that seeks to improve and better what they achieved.
Hon members, it is because of those that came before us that today we talk of the rights to information and other services. As we engage in different struggles that seek to better the present, let us not forget that a country's democracy is not safe until its people feel secured and that cannot be completely achieved without protection of the state's information.
In paying tribute to the generation of 1976, let me highlight few points that we must all consider as we fight and demand certain rights and privileges. Compatriots, transformation is impossible until it happens, then it becomes inevitable. South Africa has long been trembling between the impossible and the inevitable, and it is in this singularly unstable situation that the question of human rights in post-apartheid South Africa demands attention.
As we consider this Department of State Security Budget Vote, it is important to reflect on the now constitutionally-entrenched Bill of Rights, Sachs J had the following to say:
Two widely opposing views on a Bill of Rights argue in summary that: A Bill of Rights is necessary because if you grant the legitimate rights of the black majority you must also give reasonable protection to the rights of the white minority; or a Bill of Rights is a reactionary device designed to preserve the interests of whites and to prevent any effective redistribution of wealth and power in South Africa.
In 1991, the learned Judge went on to say:
The most curious feature about the demand for a Bill of Rights in South Africa is that initially it came not from the ranks of the oppressed but from a certain stratum in the ranks of the oppressors. The principal objective is precisely to give guarantees to the present oppressors, to protect them against the re-vindication of the oppressed; to do so in advance of and as a bulwark against rather than as a prescription in favour of change.
The question the learned Judge asked is worth repeating:
Whom would the proposed Bill of Rights protect, the victims of the unjust conduct, which has been condemned as a crime against humanity by all humankind, or the beneficiaries?
Perhaps exposing the intention of the fathers of our constitutionally-protected Bill of Rights might be tantamount to closing the stable door after the proverbial horse has bolted. However, at all times the Bill of Rights is put to use by any stratum of the society to block transformation, we ought to ask the question why? Why do some prophet patriots use this purportedly progressive document as a bulwark against change? Why do people who shout service until their voices are hoarse use the Bill of Rights to hamstring the democratic government from discharging its mandate?
As we debate issues that impact on this Budget Vote, let us reflect on our desire to protect these rights. Hon Chairperson, our approach to the Protection of Information Bill debate should be based on the premise that it is imperative to balance competing rights of openness and national security as provided for in international best practice. Section 32(1) of the Constitution guarantees the right of access to information as follows:
Everyone has the right of access to any information held by the state; and any information that is held by another person and that is required for the exercise or protection of any rights.
It is in this spirit that this Parliament passed the Promotion of Access to Information Act of 2000 to give effect to this right. That was driven by the ANC, hon Maynier. However, the need to balance openness with national security demands of us to accept that no right is absolute and all rights can be limited. The question therefore is whether the limitation of the right of access to information imposed by the Protection of Information Bill is reasonable and justifiable in an open and democratic society based on human dignity, equality and freedom?
According Section 36(1) of the Constitution, there must be regard for, among other factors, the nature of the right limitation; the purpose of the limitation, including its importance; the nature and extent of the limitation; the efficacy of the limitation, that is, the relationship between the limitation and its purpose; and whether the purpose of the limitation could reasonably be achieved through other means that are less restrictive of the right in question.
Hon Chairperson, we should reiterate that we as public representatives need to assist South Africa to inter alia: Protect legitimate national intelligence structures; legitimate operational methods, doctrine, facilities and personnel of security structures; be sensitive in confidences in international relations; support ongoing investigations by state security structures; provide details of criminal investigations and legitimate police and law enforcement methods; and protect economic, scientific or technological secrets vital to the republic's stability, security, integrity and development.
Without derogating from the right of access to information, we need to be frank and resolute in indicating that in order to ensure that classified information is not leaked, we must ensure that penalties are proportionate to the damage the unauthorized disclosures would cause and the harm they are likely to do. We want to put on record that it is our considered view that the right of access to information is not in conflict with the right to protection of information. This brings us to the question of why certain strata of our society are against protection of information.
Hon members, using both the strong man and the slippery slope fallacies the opposition and sectors of the media bombard South Africans with misinformation that the intention behind the Bill is to classify information in order to obviate public accountability and to conceal corrupt practices. What the opposition and certain sections of the media are not telling South Africans is that protection of classified information will impose discipline on their wayward tendencies.
Fellow South Africans, a question must be asked whether those who are driving the so-called right to know campaign and their fellow travellers are well informed, thoughtful, and objective observers of the process or are they being biased, hypersensitive, cynical, suspicious opportunists who blow hot and cold as it is expedient for their cause. Careful examination of this new generation of protectors of minority rights at the expense of the aspirations of the black majority reveals that these people have no regard for fairness or justice in their application of double standards. [Applause.]
They seek information not because their motive is to build South Africa, but because their motive is to portray our state as a failed state in order to de facto and by stealth usurp political power. To those that enjoy terrorising our people through unverified information and faceless sources, your days are numbered and you will not prevail! Whilst we welcome and encourage public participation, a vibrant and robust debate, we believe and remain convinced that it must not be at any cost.
Hon Minister, we appreciate the development and adoption of the strategies, but without a clear and progressive leadership those mean nothing to our people. I am sure that the even number of critical posts that have not been filled in your department have a negative impact on the operations in the community. As the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence, JSCI, we are not going to sit and listen to your reports, but we'll make sure that you deliver on the objectives you committed yourself to.
Hon members, as the ANC we are tasked to govern the country unlike the members on my left who have the responsibility to analyse media reports. [Applause.] In conclusion, Chair, we are resolute and we will not turn back. We shall boost national security to negate hostile acts of foreign intervention, negate terrorist and related activities, prevent espionage and avert unlawful acts against the constitutional order.
As part of the programme of the Ministry of State Security, we note that with the passing of the Protection of Information Bill, we will bequeath future generations a future in which: There is a statutory framework for the protection of state information in all organs of state; criteria and processes are set out in terms of which state information may be protected from unauthorized alteration, destruction and disclosure; criteria and processes are set out for classification, upgrading and downgrading classification and declassification; and there are offences and sentences in relation to failure to heed the provision of the law especially espionage and information peddling.
The ANC is committed to ensuring access to information. However, that right is not absolute. National security is a valid consideration and does not conflict with the rights in question. Your right is your right for as long as it does not violate my right.
The ANC supports the Budget. I thank you. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY / A N N / END OF TAKE
Ms S T NDABENI
The MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY: Chairperson, let me begin by thanking all the members who gave us advice and made positive comments. We will definitely take them serious. Let me also thank those who were working with us in this committee, particularly our oversight bodies - Judge Khumalo, who was responsible for interception directions, the Auditor-General, Mr Nombembe and the Inspector-General, Advocate Radebe.
We would also like to thank the continuous interaction with the members of the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence, JSCI, on the efforts they put, in ensuring that in this sphere of government, we do not falter. We particularly thank the Chairperson and members of the JSCI, who worked tirelessly, reminding us of the course we should follow. We must also take this opportunity to thank our intelligence veterans. I saw some of them there at the back. They continued to assist us, volunteering their services, in order to enhance our activities and advice.
We would also like to thank the members of our staff council. As you know, we don't have unions, buy only the staff council. They continued working with our management in ensuring that the conditions of services for our members were improved. I also like to thank the Director-General, Ambassador Muzuvukile Maqetuka, and his executive, Mr Gibson Njenje, who is sitting at the back. I would also like to thank those who supported me in the Ministry, led by Chief of staff, Dr Khau Mavhungu; our advisory team, led by Dr Sam Gulube, commonly known as Dr Scientist Manifesto; and also the work done by Mr Thokozani Dlomo, who is assisting me in the office.
I would like to agree with the Chairperson of the committee that in dealing with this important challenge of developing national security doctrine and strategy, it will be important to engage all South Africans or stakeholders, because it would need all of us to be united in defending our young democracy.
In terms of the over importance of the oversight structures, particularly the JSCI, the annual reports of the State Security Agency structures, who were separated last year, they were table together with the financial statement of the JSCI. In my recollection, reports of the auditor-general and the
inspector-general, which are critical oversight structures, were also tabled to the JSCI in the last financial year. Chairperson, please make sure that members gain access to those reports, so that they could scrutinise them.
The hon Coetzee raised issues on whether figures of the budget should be published or not. I would not confirm nor deny those figures, but they sounded very strange to me. They are the figures we presented to the JSCI. Again, Chairperson, please invite the members to read the reports we tabled in your committee. On issues concerning my attendance of the JSCI meetings, it is true that my programme has been quite hectic this year, because we were supporting our foreign policy, led by the Directorate of Special Operations, DSO, and the Presidency, particularly, in resolving the conflicts in Africa. That has put a strain on my side. I would like to assure the members that whenever, I am invited by the JSCI, I always attend. I don't remember a single meeting where the JSCI invited me, and I didn't attend.
Hon Koornhof, thank you for your inputs and we would like to welcome you in this environment. Let me also say that we are missing the hon Shilowa, [Laughter.] because he played a very critical role. He had a very deep understanding on issues concerning the national security. I hope we will see him soon. [Laughter.]
We have raised old issues on dropping of the charges against the current President. Let me put it on record that those charges were dropped by the National Prosecuting Authority, NPA, after realising that those who were heading the Directorate of Special Operations committed crimes. [Interjections.] Yes, there were tapes, but they did commit crimes. The tapes were declassified. They are available. They were declassified and handed over to the NPA.
What is of more concern to me, particularly from you as a Member of Parliament, is that you were very silent about the crime committed by those officials. It is a threat to our national security, when officials could cook reports to an extent that they even send somebody to jail on false information. A lot has been said about the Crime Intelligence and the issues between Mr Mdluli and the Commissioner or the General of the Police, to an extent that some even questioned the integrity of our vetting system.
I can assure you that our vetting system is intact, and that we are increasing our capacity. The vetting of the police is delegated to the SA Police Services' Crime Intelligence Division. The one for the defence is done by the Defence Intelligence Division of the SA National Defence Force. They work together with the domestic branch of the State Security Agency in ensuring that policies are adhered to.
In my knowledge, those processes were done; but the vetting is a dynamic one. You will remember that the crime the person concerned is charged for, was committed years ago. Investigations which were done, and they initially cleared those people. The current investigation then necessitated reverting of those members. There is nothing wrong with our vetting process, because it is a dynamic one.
Hon Msimang, it is true that our resources are focussing on piracy. We are working with the Southern African Development Community, SADC, in ensuring that our eastern shores are protected from this scourge. The fundamental problem is to address the political situation inside Somalia. We need democratic government which is respected by the people. We need democratic institutions that are developed and respected by the people. As South Africa, we are putting and deploying resources to protect the waters.
Our strategy is also including the engagement of the industry. Some of those who were involved in this ensured that there were no incentives for people to assist or promote piracy. We are working with the countries in the SADC, particularly, Tanzania, Mozambique, and those islands in the ocean, in uprooting the scourge.
The hon member from the UDM talked about the importance of political neutrality. Other members asked if we continued monitoring others. We monitor those who are involved in unconstitutional or criminal activities. We will continue doing so because that is part of our mandate. We do not and have any intention to interfere in the domestic affairs of political parties. I am glad that yesterday I met the hon Holomisa, who reported on some incidences. We agreed that it was a serious thing to us. We are going to encourage Advocate Radebe, the Inspector-General, to look into that matter.
I am still awaiting the appointment with my friend, the Premier of the Western Cape, who previously made some of the remarks, as if we were also involved in the interference or monitoring of politicians. Our officials know that those who engage in such activities will be dealt with appropriately. We are also encouraging political parties not to abuse the intelligence. When the Tactical Response Teams, TRTs, were having problems, it was very easy to put the blame on the intelligence. When our officials are doing wrong, we will
co-operate. We will deal with those transgressions.
A lot of members commented that we should finalise the restructuring and make appointments. Unfortunately, I have just received the confirmation. As you know, when appointing some of the senior management, we have to consult the relevant authorities, particularly, the Presidency.
I am pleased to announce that at least, we have finalised the appointments in some of the key posts in the senior management. Ms Nozuko Bam will be the Deputy Director-General in Domestic Intelligence, in the domestic branch. Mr Moruti Nosi will be the Deputy Director-General in Counterintelligence, in the domestic branch. Ms Joyce Mashele will be the Deputy Director-General in the Intelligence Management in the foreign branch. Ms Cindy Mhlambo will be Deputy Director-General in Collection, in the foreign branch.
Ms Yvonne Sethugi will be Head of our Intelligence Academy. Ms Muvhango Lukhaimane will be the Chairperson of the National Intelligence Council. Dr Kulube will continue assisting me in my office as an advisor, because he is responsible for jewel used technologies, until we finalise the structures in consultation with the Minister of Defence. Bob Mhlanga will continue being my advisor and my fire extinguisher – he will be deployed where his assistance would be needed.
Dennis Dlomo will also continue assisting us in our office. We will finalise some of these key appointments, particularly, now that Sandy has gone back to the University of Pretoria. I have also heard concerns from the member about the management of the national communication centre. I am in consultation with the director-general and the President, trying to address that matter. I thank you. [Applause.]
The Committee rose at 15:51.
.../TM / END OF TAKE
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