Serious concern about State Security Agency theft

Serious concern about State Security Agency theft
South African Rand. Photo South Africa Today.

The theft of R17m worth of foreign currency from the State Security Agency (SSA) in Pretoria raised questions about the level of security at such institutions, the Inkatha Freedom Party said on Friday.

In a statement, IFP national chairperson Blessed Gwala said that the premises of the SSA were supposed to be one of the most secure in the country because it “deals with intelligence gathering on domestic and international matters”.

“For its own security measures to be breached so easily must be reason for grave concern. What is even more damning is that the closed circuit camera surveillance system proved to be inadequate in providing clear pictures of the burglars. This raises questions around just how secure is the country‚Äôs intelligence system which houses very sensitive information that could have international repercussions.”

Gwala added that the theft pointed to a lack in security at many state agencies and institutions.

“If such is the porous state of security at an institution like the State Security Agency, it is no wonder then that police stations, court precincts, municipal offices and other government institutions are burgled and items such as firearms, criminal case dockets and other highly sensitive and valuable material are stolen.”

On Friday, Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said that two men had been arrested on Wednesday and Thursday for the crime.

Foreign currency, including dollars and euros, was stolen between Christmas and Boxing Day from a safe at the SSA Pretoria headquarters. A suspect was captured on CCTV footage.

Mulaudzi said that the two men would still be formally charged with the theft, with their case only expected before court on Monday.

He confirmed that the two were not members of the SSA and that more arrests were anticipated.

Source: News24

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