President Cyril Ramaphosa has handed responsibility for the control and direction of the State Security Agency (SSA) to Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele.
Ramaphosa’s office said on Monday this was in line with his announcement in August last year that the Ministry of State Security would be done away with, and political responsibility for the SSA would reside in the Presidency.
”Section 209(2) of the Constitution, which addresses governance of intelligence services, empowers the president to assume political responsibility for intelligence services other than those of the police or national defence force, or to designate a member of Cabinet to assume this responsibility,” the Presidency said in a statement.
While Ramaphosa has assigned responsibility for the SSA to Gungubele, Zizi Kodwa will continue to serve as deputy state security minister.
In August, Ramaphosa announced he had decided to do away with the Ministry of State Security and place political responsibility for the SSA in the Presidency.
He said this was to ensure the country’s domestic and foreign intelligence services effectively enabled him to exercise his responsibility to safeguard the security and integrity of the nation.
At the time, Ramaphosa also announced the establishment of an expert panel chaired by Prof Sandy Africa and members Advocate Mojanku Gumbi and Silumko Sokupa to probe the unrest that swept through parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng in July after former president Jacob Zuma was jailed by the Constitutional Court.
”As part of the critical measures we are undertaking to strengthen our security services and to prevent a recurrence of such events, I am appointing an expert panel to lead a thorough and critical review of our preparedness and the shortcomings in our response,” he said.
The panel will examine all aspects of the security response and will make recommendations on strengthening the state’s capabilities.
Ramaphosa also appointed former Cabinet minister Dr Sydney Mufamadi as national security adviser to improve support to him and the National Security Council in the strategic management of the country’s security.