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Sun Dec 04 22:27:33 SAST 2016

They've got lying taped

Justice Malala | 2013-08-27 00:38:13.0

Do the Zuma spy tapes actually exist? You will remember, dear reader, that excerpts from these supposed spy tapes were handed to the National Prosecuting Authority by President Jacob Zuma's legal team in order to show that the corruption case against him was politically motivated and manipulated. The NPA then dropped charges against Zuma.

This cleared the way for him to become president without actually answering the charges of corruption against him. Those allegations of corruption against him stand to this day.

Zuma is currently fighting attempts to have the tapes released to the DA. Why? If they exist, they don't actually belong to him but to the state security agencies.

Yet, on Friday, his spokesman, Mac Maharaj, confirmed that Zuma had applied for leave to appeal against the high court decision that the NPA must hand over the so-called spy tapes.

It would seem that our president will go to the ends of the earth to ensure that evidence that, it is claimed, shows him to be a victim of political manipulation is not shown to the rest of us, the citizens who pay his salary.

Or maybe the tapes don't exist. Perhaps that excerpt that purports to illustrate the existence of a conspiracy to send Zuma to jail was actually manufactured for nefarious purposes?

I say this because for years now I have wondered - on these pages and elsewhere - whether we actually have a functioning intelligence-gathering agency in South Africa. On the current evidence, I would say that our intelligence agencies are in disarray, provide poor or non-existent intelligence and are used in factional battles in the ANC.

We do not have credible intelligence agencies. We have dangerous, armed, politicised entities that are being used in the way that Imbokodo, the ANC's internal intelligence unit during its years in exile, was used. Imbokodo was notorious for fabricating charges against innocent and loyal members and ensuring that they were sent to the notorious ANC prison camp Quattro, where torture and death were the order of the day.

Our intelligence agencies make up much of what they say to help assassinate the political existence of those perceived to be the enemies of their masters. In doing so they will thumb-suck, lie, fabricate and tarnish anyone in their political principals' path.

Consider the case of Sdumo Dlamini, the president of Cosatu. I have interviewed Dlamini numerous times and have found him personable and charming. He is an ally of Zuma and is currently engaged in a massive battle against Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi about the future of the union federation.

The Dlamini group wants Vavi out.

Dlamini has been accused of circulating a so-called "intelligence report" about Vavi among Cosatu affiliate unions. The report contains numerous allegations of US funding of various organisations and persons - including Vavi - allegedly to undermine the government. Evidence of this is not proffered.

Vavi claims that state intelligence agencies compiled the report. The Ministry of State Security has denied knowledge of the report.

I was travelling in the US last week when I heard that one of the claims in this fake report names me, among tens of others, as a "media boss" who advised Agang founder Mamphela Ramphele. I have met Ramphele on only two occasions - and on both occasions I was interviewing her for television. I have never spoken to her privately let alone advised her. And am I "a media boss"? Really?

Yet some twerp paid by our taxes has blithely written this tosh about all the people named in the report. It is amazing.

What is even more amazing is that people like Dlamini believe this stuff. You will remember the terribly badly written, ludicrous, Browse Mole Report of 2006, which alleged that senior ANC leaders such as Saki Macozoma were engaged in online chats in which they that conspired against other leaders. Some of these leaders couldn't even type www, but ANC executive committee members believed it.

We know that a few years ago the leaders of the intelligence services were fired by the minister, Siyabonga Cwele, because they warned against the influence of the Gupta family on Zuma, claiming it posed a national security threat. We know that Cwele's ministry was the mover and shaker to gag the media with the secrecy bill, now ready to be signed into law by Zuma. We know of the shenanigans around the so-called police crime intelligence unit and its leadership.

All this points to one thing and one thing only: South Africa has no real intelligence capability. Instead, what it has is a factionalised, dangerous, politicised private army that lies to protect Zuma.

I doubt the Zuma spy tapes exist. They were possibly manufactured to get Zuma off the hook. If they do exist then they should be released.

Or Zuma should stand trial for alleged corruption.

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