He disrespected my authority, state security minister Ayanda Dlodlo says of acting DG's Zondo testimony

03 March 2021 - 20:25
State security minister Ayanda Dlodlo. File photo
State security minister Ayanda Dlodlo. File photo
Image: Moeletsi Mabe

State security minister Ayanda Dlodlo has told parliament that acting director-general Loyiso Jafta disrespected her authority by testifying at the Zondo commission earlier this year.

Dlodlo was answering questions over allegations — revealed at the Zondo commission by both Jafta and former police minister Sydney Mufamadi — that payments were allegedly made to influence members of the judiciary.

She had tried but failed to block Jafta from testifying at the commission in January, after her legal team attempted to argue that the acting DGs testimony may compromise national security.

“That the DG decided to go to the commission, without conferring with the minister, who has direct control ... over the department, including the DG himself, is something way beyond my control. That he decided to disrespect my authority and go directly to the commission without coming to the minister, where the law is very clear between the minister and her authority and control over the department and that of the director-general, is something that Mr Ndlozi should [ask] ... the acting director-general when he next appears in the standing committee,” said Dlodlo.

Her reply was directed at EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, who had said Dlodlo was either incompetent or not in charge of her department.

Ndlozi told the National Assembly that Dlodlo was presiding over the most disorganised, chaotic intelligence services in history.

Dlodlo, however, slammed Ndlozi's assertions that she was incompetent.

She told the sitting that her move to block Jafta from testifying was not an attempt to silence him from talking about the fight against corruption and counterespionage.

“This was an attempt of trying to ensure that information that is placed before the commission is credible and it has been verified. In this instance, as you can see from my presentation, this was not verified and this was not credible,” said Dlodlo.

She said she had every responsibility to ensure that the people of the country knew the truth when half-truths were given to the Zondo commission.

“I do not want to set a narrative that judges are bribed in SA because I have no evidence to that effect. That 'Project Justice' [the code name for the alleged operation to bribe judges] was given to our department by a discredited peddler. And one of the things I am trying to stop is for this department using peddlers that come with information that intend to break the bone of our democracy,” said Dlodlo.

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