The Sunday Times reported that the State Security Agency threatened to screen communications on WhatsApp, SMS, and email to root out “spies and whistle-blowers” in Parliament.
According to the report, Parliament has launched an “aggressive onslaught against its own staff in an attempt to root out spies and whistle blowers”.
The article stated SSA officials have warned Parliamentary staff that “certain NGOs, specifically Right2Know (R2K), were known to be agents working for foreign governments”.
“Parliamentary staff were also discouraged from being whistle-blowers as this, they were told, would undermine the institution,” the report said.
Right2Know responded to the allegations, saying it “wholeheartedly condemns this latest sign of the securitisation of Parliament”.
“R2K is a movement made up of ordinary people across South Africa who are in service to the constitutionally-protected rights to freedom of expression and access to information,” the organisation said.
“We are outraged, but not surprised, by the paranoia and utter disdain that the securocrats show for ordinary people and their organisations.”
R2K said its audited financial statements are published on its website, as are their funders and all key organisational documents.
“We demand that State Security comes forward to explain itself – how exactly does R2K pose a threat to national security?”
It said that organisations which demand openness and accountability are only a threat to the legitimacy of the corrupt, the insecure, and the authoritarian.