South Africa

Dlodlo, Cele and Mapisa-Nqakula tried to 'censor my evidence', intelligence watchdog tells Zondo inquiry

Three security cluster ministers have attempted to get the inspector-general of intelligence (IGI) Isaac Dintwe removed from office.

Police minister Bheki Cele, his defence counterpart Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and state security minister Ayanda Dlodlo did not end there — they tried to have Dintwe limit what he planned to disclose to the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture.

This was the testimony of Dintwe who appeared at the state capture inquiry on Tuesday.

Dintwe told the commission that after he sent the ministers a bundle of information on what he wanted to disclose to Zondo for their comments, the trio responded with a complaint to President Cyril Ramaphosa that Dintwe was out of order.

According to the complaint to Ramaphosa, Dintwe had disclosed information to the commission without consulting them which amounted to “incompetence”. They petitioned Ramaphosa to suspend Dintwe with an intention to ultimately remove him.

The IGI told the commission that the complaint about him only came to his attention when Ramaphosa wrote to him attaching the three complaints by the three ministers, which were identical.

“The president was informing me that he referred that complaint to the [parliamentary] joint standing committee on intelligence. The suspension, he said, will depend on the recommendation of the committee,” said Dintwe.

“I was called, when I was starting to explain to them they told me that we decided not to start an inquiry.”

And with that Dintwe survived as the committee also told him there were no existing rules on how to remove an IGI, adding what made Dintwe’s situation more complicated was that the “allegations against me were unsubstantiated”.

Dlodlo, Cele and Mapisa-Nqakula then summoned him to a meeting where they tried to dictate what evidence he would present to Zondo and which evidence he should not.

According to the request for his testimony, the commission had instructed Dintwe to assist them with legislation and the powers of his office and “any other information that might be of assistance to the commission”.

At the meeting, said Dintwe, the three ministers told him to ignore the “any other information that might be of assistance to the commission”.

Dintwe told the commission that he sent them packing and would give the evidence he deemed appropriate to help the commission, even if Cele, Dlodlo and Mapisa-Nqakula were against him doing so.

He said ministers must stay in their lane. 

“I have decided [to testify, against their wishes]. This talks to the independence of the office of the IGI and it also talks to how this office has been attacked from time to time,” said Dintwe.

TimesLIVE

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