The Democratic Alliance (DA) will request an urgent portfolio committee meeting with the Minister of State Security, Ayanda Dlodlo and the State Security Agency (SSA) following reports that the agency – whose Pretoria headquarters are supposedly one of the best-secured entities in the country – had allegedly been robbed once again.
A day after Christmas in 2015 they were robbed of R17 million in foreign currency, as thieves strolled in to the Lyttelton property, opened the safe, and strolled out.
Now it has been revealed that once again the same headquarters has been robbed – but this time the thieves even stole the CCTV cameras.
The thieves allegedly simply strolled in, unlocked the multi-million rand safe, and strolled out with sensitive documents and an undisclosed amount of cash. The security guard was conveniently absent while the safe was robbed.
As such the robbery went undetected until employees arrived for work the next morning, only to find the safe empty.
And these are the people we entrust with the security of our country.
After the R17 million robbery in 2015, the Hawks were reduced to asking the public if they had any information about one of the three criminals, after two – both SSA employees, were arrested. Further arrests were then made, and eventually six suspects appeared in court – four of whom were from the department.
As was pointed out at the time, there is no access to the building without an access card.
While it was claimed in 2015 that a major vetting shake-up was immediately undertaken, and that additional security facilities and advanced electronic controls were introduced, it seems they, too, have failed.
What is of concern to the DA is not only that the money was stolen, but also sensitive documents. The implications may be political, to protect and/or blackmail political enemies, or may be criminal – evidence against global syndicates perhaps?
Will we ever know how much cash was stolen, and what it was used for?
Given the shroud of secrecy around the SSA, despite the bombshell report of the High-Level Review Panel on the State Security Agency stating that there is a disproportionate application of secrecy in the SSA stifling effective accountability and facilitating serious non-compliance with controls including blatant criminality – the South African public may well never know.