House Chairperson, hon Minister, ...
... bagaetsho, ke a le dumedisa.
One of America's most revered and respected statesman, Theodore Roosevelt, said:
"Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the President or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him in so far as he efficiently serves the
country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the President or about anyone else"
This afternoon, I am going to be patriotic and stand by my country and tell the truth and nothing but the whole truth about the state of our Intelligence Service. The whole truth, not the watered-down, bent or diluted truth is that our Intelligence Service is unpatriotic and captured. The findings and recommendations of the report by the High-Level Review Panel into the State Security Agency confirm the fact that our Intelligence Service is captured by unpatriotic officials who choose to stand by and pledge their allegiance to a particular faction of the ANC and not the country, nor to its Constitution and the people of the country.
This effectively renders our Intelligence Service partisan, factionalist, compromised, inefficient and disloyal. The report further confirms that the officials in our Intelligence Service refused to expose former President Jacob Zuma, a President who failed dismally in his duty to stand by our country and its
Constitution and instead chose to literally hand over the country and its fiscus, on a golden platter, to the Guptas. I repeat, there are, to say the least, some corrupt, questionable and unprincipled officials within our Intelligence Service. And up until quite recently these officials took directives from Ministers who are, to this very day, closely aligned to former President Jacob Zuma and who ensured whatever was said and done by our Intelligence Service is always shrouded in excessive levels of secrecy and mystery.
As such, instead of averting terrorism and protecting our country and its citizens from terror attacks perpetuated by extremist groupings, such as the one that took place at a mosque in Verulam, KwaZulu-Natal in the latter part of 2018, these officials received directives aimed at furthering and protecting the interests and securities of a handful of citizens within the ANC. Officials of our Intelligence Service should have ideally been at the helm of gathering intelligence geared towards exposing state capture, but as per the findings of the Report, have instead fallen prey to the corruption, malfeasance and political meddling which is at the very core of state capture.
South Africa still faces a number of challenges that threaten our country's national safety and security. These include terrorism,
sabotage subversion and organised crime. Moreover, recent media reports suggest that a certain Eastern European super power is making efforts to bolster its influence and presence across the continent, including in South Africa. Hon Minister, we implore you to not take these matters lightly, but to ensure that they are thoroughly investigated by our Intelligence Service and dealt with accordingly.
In addition to focusing on these challenges you must also, as a matter of urgency, implement the all-encompassing recommendations of the Report as a step towards ensuring that our Intelligence Service is wrested from the clutches and grip of this beast and monster called state capture. Pick up from where your predecessor, left off. She had already begun reviewing the structure of our Intelligence Service. But this was just the beginning: more still needs to be done. You still need to spearhead the processes around increasing the independence of the Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and restoring the credibility of the entire Intelligence Service.
Perhaps our Inspector-General of Intelligence should also be focusing on the revelations by one Edward Snowden. Whether you call him a whistleblower or a traitor, Edward Snowden, a computer analyst
and a former employee of the US Central intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency, made revelations about the mass surveillance of communications of individuals, inside and outside the US, by these agencies as well as the absence of the public oversight mechanisms needed to hold these agencies accountable. These revelations sparked much debate and calls for increased awareness in relation to the issues of national security the world over.
Hon Minister, it is time to take the country into your confidence and relate the extent to which citizens are subjected to mass surveillance by our own Intelligence Service, and that of other countries, as well as to what extent our country, itself, engages in similar acts of surveillance in other countries. Our citizens deserve to know, and should know, as this will ensure greater public scrutiny and lessen the risk of the abuse of power and resources.
It is now very clear that because the workings of our Intelligence Service are always shrouded in excessive secrecy, this has enabled unfettered and unchecked looting, and political meddling. The only way to put a stop to this is for us and our citizens to demand more transparency and accountability in this regard.
Finally, we urge you to co-operate with the ongoing Zondo Commission and rid our country and our Intelligence Service of the scourge of corruption, malfeasance and political meddling. Thank you. [Applause.]