The mobile phones of state security minister Ayanda Dlodlo, her deputy Zizi Kodwa and other State Security Agency (SSA) officials have been cloned.
Reuters reported that Dlodlo’s spokesman confirmed that they found out about the cloned phones this week.
The compromised phones were discovered when people received text messages from the deputy minister which he did not send.
The spokesperson said the matter has been reported to the police and that it is currently being investigated.
It is currently not known who was behind the cloned phones or whether sensitive information has been compromised.
“The information we have is that the operation is happening around Johannesburg, hence the matter was reported to general [Elias] Mawela,” said SSA spokesperson Mava Scott said.
“He assured us that he assigned the matter to his top investigators. We just have to allow the investigation to go on.”
Robberies at the State Security Agency
This security breach followed a recent robbery at the State Security Agency which is believed to be a politically-motivated inside job.
IOL reported 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 said the robbery was an inside job, as the criminals knew the combination to the safe and only stole around R150,000 out of the millions stored in foreign and local currency.
DA Shadow Minister of State Security Dianne Kohler Barnard said 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.”