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Sun May 29 21:12:52 SAST 2016

‘Bye bye‚ Burgess!’ says DA

TMG Digital | 16 March, 2016 14:49
Cecil Burgess ,chairman of the ad hoc committee on the Protection of Information Bill
Image by: Trevor Samson.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) says it is vindicated by the ANC Chief Whip’s withdrawal of the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence report recommending Cecil Burgess' appointment as Inspector General of Intelligence (IGI).

The Democratic Alliance (DA) says it is vindicated by the ANC Chief Whip’s withdrawal of the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence report recommending Cecil Burgess' appointment as Inspector General of Intelligence (IGI).

“This is undoubtedly a victory for the opposition‚ but most importantly‚ for the tenets of transparency and accountability in South Africa’s intelligence services‚” said DA chief whip John Steenhuisen.

He said this was the ANC's third attempt to have the report adopted‚ and the second to end with a withdrawal.

“During this time though‚ the DA has never wavered in its opposition to Burgess’ proposed appointment and will continue in that vein if this report is ever revived‚” Steenhuisen added.

He said South Africa had been without an IGI for over a year now and the ANC's insistence on Burgess and refusal to restart the recommendation process and work with the opposition to find a suitable candidate whom all parties could support was to blame for the delay and the compromised state of our intelligence services.

“It is high time Parliament finalises the IGI appointment‚ and the DA is prepared to work with all parties to ensure that it is done in transparent manner that leads to the appointment of an impartial candidate who will prioritise the principles of the Constitution and keep our intelligence services accountable.

“The DA has long advocated that Parliament consider amending the relevant legislation to provide that the IGI be a retired judge who would serve the office impartially and independently. This would also prohibit the recent back-alley lobbying‚ cadre deployment and political interference we have witnessed within the IGI’s office. We hope that in light of today's defeat‚ the ANC will now consider our proposals‚” Steenhuisen said.

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