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Porous borders biggest threat to domestic security in SA: new spy boss

14 August 2019 - 10:54 By timesLIVE
Mahlodi Muofhe says it's imperative that those who come into SA do so lawfully.
Mahlodi Muofhe says it's imperative that those who come into SA do so lawfully.
Image: Masi Losi/TimesLIVE

South Africa’s porous borders are the number one threat to domestic security in the country, says newly appointed spy boss advocate Mahlodi Muofhe. 

Muofhe is the new head of the domestic branch of the State Security Agency (SSA).

“The number one domestic threat is to ensure that our borders cease to be so porous. From all over the world there is a perception that our borders are porous … We need to ensure that those who come into our country, do so lawfully,” he told eNCA in an interview broadcast on Wednesday.

He said recent operations by law enforcement authorities saw the arrests of numerous undocumented people.

Muofhe will play a key role in rebuilding the integrity of the SSA. A recent damning report by a high-level review panel found there had been “political malpurposing and factionalisation of the intelligence community over the past decade or more that has resulted in an almost complete disregard for the constitution, policy, legislation and other prescripts,” according to the presidency.

Asked by eNCA how he planned to deal with the scourge of corruption in the country, he said it was possible with the “correct political will”, where members of the agency were “free to execute their mandate without any fear of being interfered with”.

He said the agency's core focus was to gather information, ensuring the country was protected from unlawful activities. “Done properly, we should not be crying about counterfeit goods coming into the country,” he said, adding that such things should be anticipated and the information shared with law-enforcement agencies.

Muofhe was previously a special adviser to former state security minister Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba.