South Africa’s State Security Agency (SSA) has suffered constant looting, theft, and fraud over the years, DA Shadow Minister of State Security Dianne Kohler Barnard said.
“Following a recent humiliating robbery in which sensitive documents and an undisclosed amount of money were reportedly stolen from the State Security Agency (SSA) offices in Pretoria – sources have reliably informed the Democratic Alliance (DA) that there have been many more break-ins at the SSA than had previously been reported,” Kohler Barnard said.
“The information brought to the DA’s attention points to more break-ins, fraud, theft, and looting, specifically under the State Capture years.”
She added that these incidents have largely gone unreported and have been hidden from public knowledge.
The most recent robbery at the State Security Agency is believed to be a politically-motivated inside job, according to a report by Independent Online.
The report stated that the robbers stole classified documents and an undisclosed amount of money from the agency’s safe, along with several CCTV cameras.
The security guards who were meant to be protecting the safe were reportedly not stationed at their post at the time of the robbery.
A Hawks member told Independent Online that the robbery was an inside job, as the criminals knew the combination to the safe and stole only R150,000 out of the millions stored in foreign and local currency.
“The SSA has been severely weakened by the fact that it has for years been used as a tool for political point-scoring and unrestrained looting.”
“It is therefore important for Minister Dlodlo to be transparent in her responses the public has a right you know the truth.”
“The SSA has got a long way to go both domestically and internationally to salvage its damaged reputation, and these alleged incidents of theft are more bad publicity that the SSA cannot afford,” she said.
Tip of the iceberg
Kohler Barnard told MyBroadband that it is difficult to assess the damage caused by these robberies due to the secrecy surrounding the incidents.
“The SSA and the Hawks are playing their cards very close to their chests, so we have no idea what damage those documents could cause.”
“Because of the murky nature of information around the SSA and the break-ins, there is zero clarity,” she said.
Kohler Barnard added that she suspects there are far more robberies than the two publicised previously.
“Additionally, I have been informed by sources that the two publicised robberies – 2015 and 2020 – are just the tip of the iceberg and that there have been many more.”
“Equally the claim that just R120,000 was stolen this time while there were millions in the safe seems farfetched.”