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ANC officials spying for US

by Staff reporter
07 Apr 2024 at 12:36hrs | Views
AFTER a long and bruising court battle that ended with Independent Media winning the case against the State Security Agency (SSA), which sought to prevent the publication of the contents of the SSA report, the publication can reveal part one of the report which details the US and some ANC leaders' involvement in collecting intelligence on ANC party dynamics.

On Friday, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) overturned a high court ruling preventing Independent Media from publishing a report dated November 5, 2020, titled "Top secret: US interest in ANC party dynamics" and commissioned by the US intelligence operating at the country's offices in Pretoria.

In the report, the SSA stated that the "Top Secret" document was a brief to inform the minister and deputy minister overseeing the SSA of the extent of the US collection efforts and outputs of the ANC, targeting certain individuals in the ruling party.

The report revealed that the US National Security Strategy has mandated US intelligence formations to identify and assess capabilities, activities and intentions of state and non-state entities to develop a deep understanding of the strategic environment and to warn of future developments.

"The Political Office of the US Embassy in Tshwane continues to gather information related to the ruling party, which is then sent to the US State Department. This brief confirms that the US Embassy is part of the US intelligence community, and has a network of ANC party officials who, wittingly or unwittingly, share privileged information," read the intelligence report.

According to the SSA report, the US Mission in South Africa has, over the years, created a comprehensive network of contacts and sources, and these sources' efforts have been successful in spying and acquiring information for US intelligence.

The report did not dwell on how these spies were being rewarded for providing intelligence to the US.

The document also stated that there was very close co-operation taking place between the US diplomatic community and the US intelligence community in South Africa to guard and enhance US economic and political agendas in targeted countries like South Africa.

"Foreign intelligence actors continue to monitor policy conceptualisation that may be initiated in the ruling party, the ANC, as it pre-empts government policy formulation and implementation. The intelligence brief focuses on US interests as collected by the political office in the City of Tshwane," the report said.

It further revealed that the US Embassy had access to prominent high-profile leaders in ANC provincial structures, which enables the US to gain insight into sensitive party-political intelligence.

Briefing the government on the extent of the US's interference in the country, the SSA informed the state that it was aware that the US had cultivated tangible intelligence within the ruling party.

This was to either influence policy direction in South Africa or determine how it could be subverted.

In December 2022, Independent Media approached US Embassy spokesperson David Feldmann for comment and he said this was not a US government document, and he was therefore unable to comment on it.

Quizzed on whether the US was working with prominent leaders within the ANC to spy on the party, the embassy did not comment.

The ruling party's then-national spokesperson, Pule Mabe, denied knowledge of the report and said the party had not been briefed by anyone about the document.

The SSA neither denied nor confirmed that the report belonged to both the government and US intelligence, but opted to seek a court interdict barring Independent Media from publishing the report, which was strange given that the publishing of the report would not have harmed South Africa's national security.

After many years of speculations about prominent people working for the US intelligence agencies, the report showed how the US was able to infiltrate the ANC and government using certain leaders.

As a result, the US was able to use the leaders to change the policy direction in favour of the US.

While the state has the authority to classify documents, Independent Media understands that it may only do so in furtherance of its duties to preserve the peace, secure the well-being of the people of South Africa, maintain national security and defend and protect the Republic of South Africa to establish and maintain intelligence services and to prevent combat and investigate crime.

Source - iol