Fri, 10 Jul 2020

Parliament finally has a intelligence watchdog

15 Nov 2019, 07:10 GMT+10

Almost five months after the Sixth Parliament was constituted, it has a committee empowered to keep an eye on South Africa's intelligence agencies.

In a statement released on Thursday, it was announced that ANC MP Jerome Maake was appointed as the chairperson of the joint standing committee on intelligence (JSCI) on October 30.

About a month ago, News24 reported that amid controversies surrounding the State Security Agency, the JSCI had yet to start its work, apparently because consultations over who the chairperson should be had not been concluded.

When the ANC announced who its candidates for committee chairpersons would be in June, Bongiwe Mbingo-Gigaba was considered for the JSCI, but her nomination was not made official as the vetting required for the position was not completed.

After it emerged that the ANC had nominated a convicted fraudster, Zukisa Faku, for chairperson of the portfolio committee on basic education, Mbingo-Gigaba was nominated for that position.

Maake was the ANC's whip in the Fifth Parliament's portfolio committee on police and led the charge against the renewal of Robert McBride's term as head of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID).

The members of the committee were sworn in on Wednesday are:

Lindiwe Bebee (ANC);Dorries Dlakude (deputy chief whip of the ANC);Masefako Dikgale (ANC);Nombulo Hermans (ANC);Bulelani Magwanishe (ANC);Kenneth Mmoielang (ANC);Jacqueline Mofokeng (ANC);Zukiswa Ncitha (ANC);Dianne Kohler-Barnard (DA);Martha Gondwe (DA);Cathlene Labuschagne (DA leader in the National Council of Provinces);Mbuyiseni Ndlozi (EFF).

A further swearing-in of members of the JSCI is required, due to the confidentiality of their work.

It is one of only two bodies that oversee the intelligence services. The other is the Inspector General of Intelligence (IGI) which reports to the committee.

The committee does its work behind closed doors.

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