Analysis: Major spy overhaul underway in South Africa

Moe Shaik

Moe Shaik

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
In July, Laurie Nathan, a former member of South Africa’s ministerial Review Commission on Intelligence, warned that a steadily declining culture of accountability in South Africa’s spy services was threatening the country’s constitutional order. Last week, based on the Commission’s findings and policy suggestions, the country’s minster for state security, Siyabonga Cwele, announced a “major restructuring” of South Africa’s security services. Already, the first generation of pro-ANC intelligence agents, who staffed the post-apartheid South African intelligence apparatus, is on its way out. The departures of Manana Manzini, who until recently directed the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Loyiso Jafta, of the National Communications Centre, and Taki Netshitenzhe of the Electronic Communications Security, were accentuated by the retirement of ANC “superspy” Hilton Tim Dennis, who headed for many years the NIA’s Counter Espionage unit. Read more of this post

Does Norway engage in international espionage?

NIS HQ

NIS HQ

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
The death sentences handed down earlier this week by a Congolese military court to two alleged Norwegian spies, prompted Brian Palmer, of Slate magazine, to ask: do small countries like Norway engage in international espionage? The answer, of course, is yes. Palmer explains that intelligence agencies of smaller countries tend to be extremely focused on bordering nations. As a result, when it comes to their immediate geographical neighborhood, their intelligence knowledge and capabilities often surpass those of larger intelligence powers. Norway is a good example of this. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #0099

  • Who killed London Times reported David Holden, in 1977, and what was the involvement of American, British and Egyptian intelligence services in the mysterious case?
  • Iran denies bodyguard’s arrest on spying charges. Iranian authorities deny earlier reports that a man belonging to a “senior official security squad” was arrested on suspicion of “espionage and anti-security activities”.
  • Profile of South Africa’s next spy chief. Moe Shaik, former member of ANC’s intelligence wing and a close friend of South African President Jacob Zuma will most likely head the country’s spy services. During ANC’s underground period, he was involved in Operation VULA, which involved smuggling large quantities of weapons into South Africa. He will be heading the nation’s intelligence establishment during one of the most challenging periods in its history.

Spy services threaten South African democracy, warns researcher

Laurie Nathan

Laurie Nathan

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
A former member of South Africa’s ministerial Review Commission on Intelligence has warned that a steadily declining culture of accountability in South Africa’s spy services is threatening the country’s constitutional order. Laurie Nathan, who is currently a research fellow at the University of Cape Town and the London School of Economics, has written an article for Chatham House’s The World Today magazine, in which he summarizes the results of the Commission’s a study into the South African intelligence services. According to Nathan, the study found a “striking absence of executive policy on many critical intelligence issues” and “major weaknesses in control and oversight systems” of intelligence practices. Read more of this post

South Africa pressed to cut diplomatic, intelligence ties with Israel

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
After Venezuela and Bolivia, which last week cut off diplomatic relations with Israel in protest of the Jewish state’s invasion of Gaza, the government of South Africa has come under pressure to do likewise. The powerful Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) urged the governing African National Congress (ANC) to “cease all relations with Israel and close down the Israeli embassy in Pretoria”. The organization also called on the governing party to expel “Israeli security agencies and Mossad” operatives from the country. Although it is unclear whether COSATU’s call will influence South Africa’s official relations with Israel, it will be difficult for the ANC to ignore it completely, especially with Jacob Zuma now at its helm. Read more of this post