This article below was published by Business Day
The Right2Know Campaign joins opposition parties demanding open hearings on the ‘intelligence report’
Lobby group the Right2Know Campaign (R2K) has urged the joint standing committee on intelligence to be more open and to consider holding open hearings on the “intelligence report” President Jacob Zuma cited as justification for firing Pravin Gordhan as finance minister.
“We think Parliament has an incredible oversight role on intelligence. I would say it is a role they have avoided playing, at least publicly. Under different chairpersons, it [the joint standing committee on intelligence] has deliberately used secrecy powers to protect intelligence services from embarrassment,” said R2K’s Murray Hunter.
United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa has written to committee chairman Charles Nqakula to ask that it hold an urgent meeting to discuss the authenticity and origins of the report. Holomisa also wants Nqakula to haul State Security Minister David Mahlobo and his director-general before the committee to account for the report. The report is being investigated by intelligence inspector-general Setlhomamaru Dintwe.
Mahlobo has distanced himself from the report.
He said it did not come from him or any of his agencies.
Holomisa told Business Day he was still waiting for a response to his formal request for an urgent sitting on the matter. “Honourable chair Nqakula has not responded to my request. I am still waiting,” Holomisa said.
Nqakula did not respond to multiple requests for comment from Business Day.
In a recent briefing, Mahlobo failed to answer questions on whether or not he had given Zuma the report but said his department was investigating it.
“No one can say that the president has broken the law when conducting a reshuffle. I have asked my people to look at the intelligence report, that is said to be floating around,” said Mahlobo.