President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed a high-level review panel into the work of the State Security Agency (SSA).

The panel, to be chaired by former minister Dr Sydney Mufamadi, will assess the mandate, capacity and organisational integrity of the SSA.

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Presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko said the panel follows Ramaphosa’s statements made in the National Assembly last month.

“President Ramaphosa has said that the panel must seek to identify all material factors that allowed for some of the current challenges within the agency so that appropriate measures are instituted to prevent a recurrence.

“The main objective of the review panel is to assist in ensuring a responsible and accountable national intelligence capability for the country in line with the Constitution and relevant legislation,” Diko said in a statement.

Overhauling the SSA

The other members of the panel include former spy boss Barry Gilder, Professor Jane Duncan, Anthoni Van Nieuwkerk, Professor Sibusiso Vil-Nkomo, Murray Michell, Basetsana Molebatsi, Siphokazi Magadla, Andre Pruis and Silumko Sokupa.

Ramaphosa earlier shifted SSA director-general Arthur Fraser to the Department of Correctional Services. This was seen as the first move in overhauling the agency plagued by allegations of corruption.

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Fraser was moved after Inspector-General of Intelligence Dr Setlhomamaru Dintwe claimed in an affidavit that Fraser was interfering with his duties. It had emerged that Fraser had revoked Dintwe’s security clearance.

A new minister of state security, Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba, was appointed during Ramaphosa’s Cabinet reshuffle earlier this year.

The Presidency also announced that Ramaphosa has appointed former defence minister Charles Nqakula as his national security advisor.

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