Intelligence heads get ready for legal show down


Ayanda Mdluli

JOHANNESBURG- The head of the State Security Agency, Arthur Fraser, has refuted allegations that he was involved in awarding tenders to family and friends.

Fraser produced an answering affidavit responding to Setlhomamaru Dintwe, who is the Inspector General of Intelligence – opposing the urgent application which will be heard in the North Gauteng High Court tomorrow.

The two are expected to go face to face in a legal showdown between state security agency heads.

Last week, Dintwe launched an urgent court application. In court papers, he claimed that Fraser had allegedly interfered with his duties and was actively trying to revoke his security clearance.

Also, in the court papers, Dintwe claimed that Fraser had fraudulently copied the signature of the then minister of intelligence services Ronnie Kasrils when establishing an “intelligence programme known as PAN”.

Fraser is alleged to have improperly awarded tenders and contracts to people associated with his family, and other individuals, through the Principal Agency Network (PAN).

Dintwe said Fraser had been aware that he was the subject of investigation since May 2017.

In a statement issued last week, Dintwe said he was seeking urgent interim relief which would stop Fraser from acting “unconstitutionally”.

“I seek a range of declaratory and interdictory relief on a final basis relating to the powers of the director general,” he said in his affidavits, dated April 10, which were filed in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

He added that Fraser’s decisions had implications for the proper functioning of the office of the Inspector General of Intelligence.

In an answering affidavit, Fraser said he denies the allegation that he improperly awarded tenders and contracts associated with his family members and other individuals through the Principal Agency Network.

“It should be further noted that the inspector general’s reports as cited above, made no recommendations of any criminal charges to be laid against me in terms of any legislation.”

He denied that there was an intelligence unit which was established “outside of any duly authorised legislative and governance provisions”.

“The allegation that this is a serious and gross misconduct is incorrect and disingenuous. With regards to the purported criminal offence, besides the fact that I dispute any criminal wrongdoing, it would be prudent for the applicant to specify applicable statutes to which he refers,” said Fraser in court papers.

He also explained that the establishment of PAN was done with the blessing of then Minister of State Security Ronnie Kasrils.

“The establishment of the PAN was duly authorized by the minister Kasrils and the then Director General, as is confirmed in the inspector general’s report…and could therefore not have fraudulently copied said signature, nor could the establishment of the PAN programme have been illegal as alleged. I take serious exception to the unfounded allegations made…and will apply that they struck out as irrelevant and vexatious,” said Fraser.