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Assessing and promoting civil and minority rights in South Africa.

[Source: Daily Maverick by Jane Duncan.]

Recently, the public has been seized with the capture of state institutions by the Gupta family. What has not received enough attention, though, are the ways in which systemic weaknesses in how the security services are being regulated, have contributed to the problem. While those who are responsible for plundering the public purse must be brought to book, these systemic weaknesses must be addressed, too, otherwise others will simply take their place at the trough.

Two court cases, one still running and one concluded, raise some disturbing questions about the state of South Africa’s intelligence services. The first is a civil case brought by Thebe Maswabi, a founding member of a new union, the Workers’ Association Union (WAU).

He has claimed that President Jacob Zuma reneged on an agreement with him to pay him for forming the WAU as a bogus shell union, to destabilise the Association for Mineworkers’ and Construction Union (AMCU) in the platinum belt. He also claimed that he was tasked to spy on AMCU by the State Security Agency (SSA), and that they said they would continue “using” him even after the settlement agreement.

The second case involved two Sunday Times journalists, Stefan Hoffstatter and Mzilikazi wa Afrika, whose communications were intercepted by the Crime Intelligence Division of the South African Police Service (SAPS).

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South Africa at a Glance
58 780 000 (mid 2018 estimate)
4.5% y/y in June 2019 (CPI) & +5.8 y/y in June 2019 (PPI)
-3.2% q/q (1st quarter of 2019)
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