Printer Friendly

Part III: civilian and defence intelligence.

In this section, selected official views regarding positive intelligence in South Africa (civilian domestic and foreign intelligence as well as defence intelligence) over the period 2003 to 2007, are presented.* As far as civilian intelligence is concerned, it will be subdivided into intelligence threat perception and focus; intelligence structures; intelligence priorities; and intelligence control and oversight.

1. CIVILIAN INTELLIGENCE

1.1 Intelligence threat perception and focus

Minister of Intelligence Services, L N Sisulu (MP), on the occasion of the Secret Services Budget Vote, National Assembly, Cape Town, 17 June 2003 (http://www.nia.gov.za/...)

...

A number of activities to counter threats such as espionage, terrorism and sabotage to critical national infrastructure are performed by the Intelligence Services. The objective is to establish a state of security surrounding the personnel, information and assets of the State. Identifying the loopholes in security systems is perhaps a better way of explaining this function.

In line with our continued inter-departmental cooperation, the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) has established a counter intelligence forum comprising of itself; the South African Secret Service (SASS); the South African Police Service Division of Crime Intelligence (SAPS-CI) and the South African National Defence Force Division of Defence Intelligence (SANDF-DI). This forum has identified seven broad priority areas of interest informed by our threat perception. These are: political intelligence, terrorism, economic intelligence, counter intelligence, border intelligence, organised crime, drug trafficking, corruption and special events.

...

... we have identified one clear and threatening danger--cyber threat--the world is increasingly dependent on computer networks for transportation, public safety, energy, communication, you name it. This makes for increasingly vulnerable governments unless we build in as we grow, the necessary infrastructure to protect our systems against any possible cyber threat. At the moment we remain vulnerable.

When you consider that computers are less expensive than conventional weapons, more readily available and their ability for connectivity and penetration swift, then you realise the scale of the problem is amazing. Amazing precisely because these are instruments available to criminals and terrorists. What this demands of us is that we maintain supreme advantage in key technologies. It is for this purpose that we have established the Electronic Communications Security (COMSEC) (PTY) Ltd, a company charged with the responsibility to develop cutting edge electronics communications technology and secure our communication.

One of the first tasks of the company would be to conduct security audits to prioritised government departments at provincial and local levels. This is a strategic intervention which will also ensure that e-commerce in South Africa can thrive without difficulty and threats posed by intrusion, cyber crime or cyber sabotage.

Alongside the creation of a secure electronics communications environment for state organs, is the need to uproot the cyber criminals who seek refuge through the use of sophisticated encryption devices. To unmask them and to expose their criminal and unpatriotic plans, we will set up the Office of Interception Centres. I must make it unequivocally clear that these centres will be solely targeted at those who seek to undermine our national security, commit crimes and steal and sell strategic information belonging to the country. The Interception Centres will interface with the telecommunications operators to provide Law Enforcement Agencies with judiciary approved intercepted products and services, as approved by Parliament through the Regulation of interception of communication and provision of communicated related information Act, 2002 (Act 70 of 2002).

At this point, may I just indicate that we are particularly concerned about the proliferation of private intelligence companies, which have tended to pose as private security companies or risk management consultants. We have discovered over the years that these companies have had unlimited access, paid for, to banking details, health details and personal details held at the Department of Home Affairs, a blatant infringement of the constitutional rights of the citizens of this country.

We have concluded that there is a need to tighten our laws around this, in a clear and very precise manner.

Let me first indicate that former members of the Intelligence Services are restricted by the Intelligence Services Act of 2002 from engaging in private intelligence work within three years of termination of service

The private security companies that are involved in intelligence activities like private investigation, manufacturing, possession and selling interception devices, have to register with the Security Industry Regulatory Board, which falls under the political supervision of the Minister of Safety and Security in terms of the Security Industry Act of 2001.

The new Interception Act of 2002, prohibits the manufacturing, possession, selling and use of interception devices. The only structures that can manufacture, possess or sell these devices are the law enforcement agencies, and those private security companies registered in terms of the Security Industry Act. These authorised groups can intercept communications for the sole purposes of combating crime and in provision of emergency services. Any other person who engages in private security/intelligence work outside the provision of these three laws commits a crime.

... (I)ntelligence is a secret state activity to understand any threat to national security and thereafter to advise policy makers on steps to counteract such threat. It is an activity performed by officers of the State for State purposes. Secret collection, the use of information that is not publicly available, are the constitutive elements that would distinguish this from other intellectual activity.

Having given this definition of intelligence, therefore it should be clear to all that there is no scope here for private intelligence activity for purposes of gain or profit. We are moving swiftly to outlaw any vestiges of such activity.

In all of this, our concerns refer to the protection of the Constitutional Rights to privacy by South African citizens. When state organs infringe on these rights, it is not for profit and that activity is very strictly governed by a number of laws. For example, should the Services want to intercept anyone's telephone conversation, they have to apply to a judge and prove that they have sufficient reason to believe that this has to be done in the national interest and the privacy of the individual will be given the necessary protection. Secondly, the Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Intelligence, the JSCI, has a supervisory authority over those responsible for granting such access, and powers of scrutiny over applications from Intelligence Services.

... (I)t has been necessary to provide these details so that members of the public can appreciate the checks and balances that our Intelligence Services are subjected to. Unfortunately, these rules do not appear to govern the operations of private security companies who, as we have discovered, will pay to access data on bank accounts, information on private lives and even health records of individuals, among others. We have therefore resolved to put an end to this mindless invasion of the privacy of our citizens.

If some members are considering setting up private intelligence companies--if not re-elected to Parliament next year--I would like to warn you, that henceforth this is unlikely to be a worthwhile economic venture.

... (I)n light of the forever changing objective environment in which our Intelligence Services compete and operate, it is necessary to review our National Security Policy and to ensure that we strive towards national consensus, on its meaning, our response to national security threats, and the roles and mandates of our structures ranging from law enforcement to security services. This process will be linked with the Intelligence White Paper Review Process announced last year 2002.

The two processes will lead to the update of the White Paper on Intelligence. This will be done in accordance with global and domestic security developments and challenges; the global security dispensation indicates that the nature of security and the international approaches and responses to security, have shifted. The security problems beyond our borders have become our own security problems. The global security considerations have changed considerably over the last three years and therefore our understanding of security issues must reflect these challenges.

...

Minister for Intelligence Services, Ronnie Kasrils (MP), on the occasion of the Secret Services Debate, Cape Town, 23 June 2004 (http://www.nia.gov.za/...)

...

Let us emphasise that this must mean concentrating on and enhancing our core business, what we should regard as the holy trinity of our existence:

1. the collection of quality information;

2. its evaluation and analysis;

3. and timely presentation to the decision makers.

Parliament and public, through the Joint Standing Committee for Intelligence (JSCI), the Auditor General and Inspector General for Intelligence, must judge us for the unique contribution we are meant to make.

...

Challenges of today's world:

The security threats of the new century are very different from those of the old. They pose new challenges, for which a new approach is required. The polarised world order of the Cold War era has given way to more uncertainty and unpredictability. The globalisation of the world economy, communications and technology, places us in an ever shrinking world. At the same time there is relentless pressure on resources such as energy, water, minerals, fertile land and food, leading to increased competition and potential for conflict. This trend may be exacerbated by deepening ethnic, religious and ideological differences, intolerance and a different kind of polarisation. This is not a passing phase, it is here to stay. It affects everyone, especially a new and diverse nation like South Africa, with a range of domestic challenges and wide international responsibilities, including our obligations within our region and our commitment to the African renaissance, to the African Union and New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).

Struggle for limited resources

A consequence of the struggle for limited resources such as oil has seen a century of instability in the Middle East, and the cycle of intervention and resistance of which the present upheaval in Iraq is just another tragic chapter. Already attempts to destabilise West Africa are evident in the scramble by foreign interests for newly discovered oil reserves. With global long-term shortages imminent, scientists are investigating the hydrogen fuel cell as an energy source. President George W Bush talks of the future "hydrogen economy". Platinum is being advanced as a possible catalyst to convert hydrogen into this new form of energy. If successful, then we in platinum-rich South Africa, are sitting on 86% of the new energy source of the world. Whatever the developments it is important that we take the necessary security steps to ensure stability and solidarity in our region and continent, and protect our resources for the benefit of our people.

Impact of globalisation

Globalisation can bring benefits: sharing of technology and improvements in telecommunications, ease of travel, greater scope for concerted international action to deal with poverty, natural disasters, disease, and environmental changes. But it also opens the way to terrorism, organised crime, trafficking in people and drugs, proliferation of dangerous technologies, money laundering--the new global threats. Criminals and terrorists have access to the same new technology as governments, and are often better and faster at putting it to use. They are able to switch their bases of operations, benefiting from 'soft' jurisdictions, where laws are lax or ignored, where corruption is rife, where they can operate in secret. We must not fall behind in surveillance capacity, information technology or operational skills.

Global responsibilities and interests

We cannot allow states to fail, economies to collapse and conflict to occur unchecked. This is not just because we have a moral responsibility to help others, but because these are a breeding ground for threats to the wider world, including South Africa and Africa.

Importance of good intelligence

In recent years the dominant theme in intelligence circles has been "the failure of intelligence" with reference to the 9/11 catastrophe and terrorist outrages from East Africa to Bali, from Moscow to Madrid; controversy surrounding Iraq's missing weapons of mass destruction; the Kelly saga in Britain; the blowing up of the Chechnya leader under the noses of his Russian backers; allegations of manipulation of terrorism alert levels for political purposes--all reflect negatively on the intelligence community worldwide.

The latest revelation from America concerns the 50 precision-guided air strikes against the top Iraqi leadership at the start of the war. It has been revealed that all were unsuccessful. There is no doubt that if Sun Tzu were alive today he would remind us never to neglect agents on the ground at the expense of the latest technology.

Our country--which has demonstrated a good record in containing terrorist threats in recent years--is not immune from danger.

We need to develop our intelligence and security capability, to foresee the imminent threats, so we can more effectively deal with them. Good intelligence saves money. It has been said that one good agent is worth a division of soldiers on the battlefield. Reliable agents must provide the link in the intelligence cycle with technological advances as the other pillar....

Partnership, at home and abroad

Good intelligence and security crucially depends on:

-- co-ordination and partnership at home, so that we use the resources we have effectively, minimising wasteful duplication and unnecessary rivalry; and

-- international partnerships, in which we work with friends and neighbours alike, to pool our efforts where possible and to deal with global threats on a truly cooperative basis.

Using resources better

In a country like ours, where we urgently need better housing, health, schools, the delivery of safe water and electricity, we must ensure the maximum value of our money through well-run Services. We can achieve so much more by maximising partnerships between our agencies. This applies especially to central databases, communication systems, development of new technologies, and fostering a spirit of co-operation. We must ensure the sustained coordination of data bases within government's financial, justice, security, defence and intelligence clusters.

Secrecy versus accountability

Effective security and intelligence operations rely on secrecy. Otherwise they will be operating with one hand tied behind their back. But secrecy must not be an end in itself, or a cover for abuses. Our Services operate in the name of our democratic Government and all the people of South Africa. They must therefore be accountable for what they do, how they do it and gain the trust of our people. They must operate within the law. Their spending and actions must be subject to scrutiny. We in South Africa know only too painfully what happens when the secret services operate without proper control and oversight, and become a law unto themselves. The JSCI and Inspector General have a crucial responsibility and we accept that the agreed restriction over operational information requires integrity from all of us.

Quality not quantity

The best guarantee of responsible, cost-effective and successful operations is the quality of our own ... whom we entrust these vital functions. We must ensure they receive the best possible training and skills development and occupy appropriate posts. We must insist on the highest moral and professional standards from the most junior levels all the way to the top. We must hold them to account if they should fail, but also ensure they have our full material and moral support. Quality, not quantity is what we need: some of the best services in the world are among the smallest and have attained an excellence with relatively meager resources. We need to avoid a proliferation of unnecessary structures and costly new posts with more persons doing less work.

...

Minister for Intelligence Services, Ronnie Kasrils (MP), Budget Vote Address, 17 May 2005 (http://www.nia.gov.za/...)

... We have seen the capture of mercenaries plotting the overthrow of the Government of Equatorial Guinea and the arrest and deportation of wanted international terrorists seeking to hide in our country. Other significant breakthroughs include the disruption of urban terror activities and the exposure of a network involved in nuclear proliferation.

We will use our powers where necessary, but these will not be abused as was the case under apartheid. Today's intelligence operatives are inculcated in the spirit of our democratic ethos.

Honourable Members, whilst we have achieved the most remarkable political stability in South Africa's history I draw your attention to some local trends which need attention.

I refer particularly to the increase of violence in KwaZulu Natal, the taxi violence and recent instability at municipal level at a number of localities around the country. Legitimate protest is a healthy facet of any true democracy but those instigating violence must know that the law will deal with transgressors.

...

Republic of South Africa, Parliament, The Strategic Imperatives for South Africa as set out in the 2006 State of the Nation Address: An Oversight Tool for Members and Committees of Parliament, 2006 (http://oldwww.parliament.gov.za/...)

...

In his 2006 State of the Nation Address, President Mbeki identified the need to strengthen the country's intelligence structures as one of the priorities this year, in order to support law enforcement agencies and ensure the security of the State and its citizens. This calls for co-ordination between the Intelligence services and other organs of State such as Justice and Police Services, charged with the responsibility of ensuring the safety and security of the South African State and its people.

The State of the Nation Address identified the following priority areas for the intelligence community for this year:

** National level

*** Security prior to, during and immediately after the local government elections to ensure that the process is conducted smoothly; and

*** Assisting relevant departments, where necessary, with the settling of all matters relating to the Truth and Reconciliation process (TRC) to ensure proper execution of justice.

The strengthening of the intelligence community is also expected to enhance its capacity to fulfil its Constitutional mandate of protecting the integrity and sovereignty of the South African State. Thus, resource allocation for training purposes is a key task in this regard. The intelligence community should focus on deepening the understanding of its role in the respect for the rule of law and ensuring the Constitutional rights of citizens. Efforts to train the intelligence community on issues relating to the Constitutional rights of citizens is arguably one of the most important components of the planned training since it stands to broaden the understanding between the citizens who are supposed to be protected. The review of existing legislation and other aspects of intelligence should serve as one of the key issues that should draw a renewed focus on the mandate of the intelligence community and the manner in which that mandate is executed. Concomitant to the review is to also look into which legislation needs further clarification in order to enjoy the support of the public.

** International level

At an international level, the country's intelligence community will address the following priorities:

*** Ensuring the integrity of the country through appropriate co-operation with intelligence structures from other countries in areas such as combating terrorism.

*** Contributing to the strengthening of intelligence capacity within the evolving security architecture in Africa with the African Union (AU) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in particular.

The role of the country's intelligence community remains central in dealing with international conflicts, peace and security. In an international environment which is dominated by a need to combat terrorism, to curb organised crime, which manifests itself in many illegal activities such as money laundering, women trafficking, illicit drug and arms trafficking, the intelligence community's role remains of paramount importance.

Such a role is even more crucial in the context of Africa, where new security institutions are being created. The SASS' objective of contributing to stability in the SADC region for instance is still relevant. According to the Ministry of Intelligence, "instability provides fertile grounds for international terrorist networks, and allows for intervention by countries seeking to control Africa's resources".

The above commitment to strive for stability in the SADC region is also a commitment to see stability in Africa as a whole. Such stability in the continent includes the development of a Continental Wide Early Warning System (CEWS). The CEWS will enhance the capacity of States in Africa to monitor political and other developments for the purpose of preventing an escalation of conflicts and instability. In this regard, an important instrument to achieve this is the African Union's (AU) Protocol on the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council, which calls for the creation of the CEWS. The continued role of SASS in the evolution of this capacity in the continent remains critical.

...

Minister for Intelligence Services, Ronnie Kasrils (MP), Intelligence Services Budget Debate, National Assembly, Cape Town, 25 May 2007 (http://www.info.gov.za/speeches/...)

...

We are fortunate to report that there are no indications of any serious threat to our constitutional order; but remain vigilant to any potential dangers arising from espionage or subversive activities. We will improve our capacity to reinforce the police in countering organised crime of whatever nature. We will continue to ensure that all events hosted by our country are properly secured and incident free and can confidently guarantee this for the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

Terrorism

We also remain alert to averting the possibility of a terrorist attack or the use of our territory by subversive elements from whatever quarter. While we are neither a primary target nor a safe haven, we cannot afford to be complacent, as no country is immune from this threat. We do not condone the indiscriminate use of violence against civilians, whether by state or non-state terror. Nor can we be accused of being 'soft' on terror, as our record in respect of the containment of such activities demonstrates.

We do, however, believe that the 'terror' label should not be indiscriminately or incorrectly applied, as this becomes a hindrance to genuine investigations. This has unfortunately become all too commonplace in the global environment. We also maintain that terrorism can only be purposely dealt with by going beyond its manifestations to paying concerted attention to its root causes. And we are concerned that the so-called 'global war on terror' has opened a Pandora's Box. It has fuelled a host of unforeseen and unintended consequences, human tragedies, extreme reactions, deep grievances and veers on a dangerous phobia about Islam; one of the world's most respected and venerated religions, which has been practiced in our country, along with other creeds, without any controversy or problems whatsoever for centuries. And will continue to do so ...

1.2 Intelligence structures

Minister for Intelligence Services, LN Sisulu (MP), Secret Services Budget Vote, National Assembly, Cape Town, 17 June 2003 (http://www.nia.gov.za/...)

...

Meanwhile,... we have given the intelligence community new strategic capabilities, introduced more policy tools for efficiency and effectiveness, and created additional and new control mechanisms for purposes of institutional accountability. We have done so through processing four Acts through Parliament last year, which were necessary for us to ensure compliance with the laws of the land as we restructure to meet our new challenges. Taken together, these Acts promote the principle of integrated and cooperative governance especially within the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster, which is key in countering national security threats.

This year, we launched the South African National Academy of Intelligence (SANAI) and opened the Mzwandile Piliso Campus in Mafikeng on 28 February 2003. The academy is responsible for providing training to members of the intelligence community and other related departments. This training will include conducting research to supplement the training function. This will be an institution of excellence that will contribute to the delivery of quality intelligence products, which are key in informing the decisionmaking processes of government. The academy would contribute to conducting and commissioning independent, relevant and quality research that disseminates information on the theory and practice of intelligence within the broad framework of security.

The Academy is already involved with the management and running of a cadet programme which seeks to bring into the Intelligence Services, the best of the best among the youth. The cadet programme will be driven by a systematic process of talent spotting, head hunting, and focused and dedicated training of our young people to bring much needed skills into the intelligence community.

...

The Presidential Support Unit (PSU), which was established in November 2001 to support the Presidency in the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts on the continent and elsewhere has proved to be very effective in their role. This unit compliments NICOC in intelligence coordination and supports the Presidency in advancing foreign policy objectives to fulfil the mandate of the African Union.

...

Minister for Intelligence Services, Ronnie Kasrils (MP), Secret Services Debate, Cape Town, 23 June 2004 (http://www.nia.gov.za/...)

...

THE FORCES AND MEANS

Having outlined our views towards meeting the key challenges we face in the 21st Century let us briefly look at the forces and means at our disposal and how best to utilise our resources.

FORCES:

National Intelligence Agency (NIA)

The National Intelligence Agency is the biggest of our Services and is responsible for domestic and counter intelligence. It has undergone a major transformation including refocusing its mandate to better deal with a wide range of intelligence and security functions. NIA has had to strengthen its capacity in the provinces, contend with enormous vetting demands which it still has to get to grips with, conduct security investigations and auditing, technical surveillance counter measures and successfully counter espionage and terrorist threats. NIA's professionalism is exemplified by the efficient way it has dealt with the security demands for many international events hosted in our country and the national elections, including the Presidential inauguration.

South African Secret Service (SASS)

The SASS mandate is the collection of information on the situation outside our borders by means that cannot simply be obtained through diplomatic channels and open sources in pursuit of our national interests abroad. This does not mean that SASS members regard the foreign environment as necessarily hostile. They collaborate and form partnerships with their counterparts wherever feasible. The past few years has seen the expansion of our presence abroad, particularly in Africa where SASS and our specialised support unit continue to play a critical role in conflict resolution in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Great Lakes area and elsewhere.

National Intelligence Coordinating Committee (NICOC)

NICOC coordinates and enhances the information and analytical products supplied by our domestic and foreign intelligence services, including the identification of possible threats. It provides intelligence estimates to Cabinet and other government clients and is seeking to attain higher levels of excellence in identifying strategic intelligence tasks in priority areas and in predicting outcomes. NICOC is reconceptualising our National Early Warning Centre to link with a SADC Regional Centre in Gaborone.

National Communications Centre (NCC)

The NCC is our state of the art communications monitoring section and is vital to our country's security. It is staffed by extremely dedicated and highly skilled personnel. It is involved in establishing the Office of Interceptions Centre and operates in strict compliance with the law under a judge's authorisation. The NCC must ensure investment and training in information technology and is helping establish the electronic communications security company, COMSEC (Pty) Ltd. that will cater exclusively for government's needs.

South African National Academy of Intelligence (SANAI)

SANAI, established near Mafeking last year, after the initial Academy in Pretoria was closed down, is tasked with developing training and skills of our amakhangela, as well as engaging in research and curricula development. Its mandate also extends to training personnel from fraternal African states. The Academy has been recording steady progress.

Intelligence Services Council (ISC)

The ISC was established last year to attend to human resource policies and the service conditions of members. It has filled an important vacuum in attending to their needs and interests and has swiftly proved its worth....

Minister of Safety and Security, Charles Nqakula, Justice Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) Cluster Media Briefing, 3rd Cycle Reporting, Cape Town, 30 August 2007 (http://www.info.gov.za/speeches/...)

...

Various steps have been taken to develop training interventions for the intelligence community to meet the challenges posed by a rapidly changing world.

The Musanda Satellite Campus in Pretoria has been renovated to cater for short courses, workshops, seminars and colloquiums. Partnerships are being formed with tertiary and other institutions for the enhancement of the training of intelligence officers.

The National Intelligence Co-ordinating Committee (NICOC) established nine interdepartmental project teams incorporating representatives from a range of government departments, to create a channel for the deposition of information across government.

A new high-tech building of the Electronic Communications Security Company (COMSEC), the first of its kind in Africa, will be opened at the end of this year. COMSEC already has a fully-equipped security operations centre. The objective of the centre is to protect critical information and communications infrastructure of government from unauthorised access and attack.

1.3 Intelligence priorities

Minister for Intelligence Services, Ronnie Kasrils (MP), Secret Services Debate, Cape Town, 23 June 2004 (http://www.nia.gov.za/...)

...

Ten Priorities For Action

As part of the way forward with a focus on improving our capabilities over the next five years, I am instructing my Service Chiefs to provide me with business plans concerning the following ten priorities for immediate action:

1. the optimum utilisation of resources, ensuring sufficient funds are allocated to core business and the necessary adjustment in personnel, operating and capital allocation.

2. the targeted recruitment, training and strategic placement of members;

3. the improved operational capacity in the provinces and abroad;

4. deepening synergy with regard to intelligence sharing and coordination between all Services, including crime, defence and finance;

5. enhancement of NICOC's strategic analytical skills, national intelligence estimates and the National Early Warning Centre;

6. developing intelligence cooperation in Africa and with our international partners with a focus on conflict prone areas of our continent;

7. strengthening security at our ports of entry;

8. fully implementing the Minimum Information Security Standards (MISS) within all government departments;

9. the projected development and costing of the Intelligence Academy, its syllabus and training commitments and its future;

10. and comprehensive improvements in our vetting capacity.

Business plans for these priorities and other tasks I have referred to be presented to me within three months! The performance contracts and annual evaluation of management and staff will be related to these objectives. We are not talking about quick-fix solutions but building and sustaining quality performance for the 21st Century. We are realistic and aware that "a nation's ability to fashion an elaborate intelligence network is limited by the development of skills which can take decades, indeed centuries to define."

Our services have been proving their worth, and we mean to create a culture of excellence. Implementing these ten priorities in the short term will build on the achievements of ten years and help us take qualitative strides forward over the next five years. If necessary, we will be considering the merits of a full-scale Intelligence Services Review.

1.4 Intelligence control and oversight

Minister for Intelligence Services, Ronnie Kasrils (MP), Inauguration Ceremony for the new Archives Building, Musanda, 27 September 2005 (http://www.nia.gov.za/...)

Our responsibilities: Five key undertakings

Given that records are a potent bulwark against unlawful actions, those responsible for their care exercise enormous power in safeguarding and maintaining the democratic gains that so many of our people fought and died for. They, together with the membership of the Intelligence Services, carry a sacred burden of trust, which has been granted to them by the people of our country.

The records contained in this new archives building must not only be properly managed and preserved, but they must act as a constant reminder to us of the horrors of our past, so that we dare not repeat it. They must remind us of the values underscoring the declaration of allegiance, which all took on joining the Services as well as the code of conduct for intelligence officers, which all have sworn to abide by. In this respect all members of our intelligence community need to abide by five key undertakings:

1. We must accept the fundamental principle of legality. We do not stand above the law. We are not exempt from the law. We are unequivocally and emphatically bound by the law and the Bill of Rights. All our operations must be conducted within the parameters of the Constitution and relevant legislation. The founders of our democracy took this issue so seriously that they enshrined in our Constitution the requirement that members of the security services should disobey a manifestly illegal order.

2. We must accept the fundamental principle that we are subordinate and accountable to the elected and duly appointed civilian authority. The establishment and maintenance of democracy is not possible if we do not accept this principle.

3. We must accept the fundamental principle of political non-partisanship. We may not further, in a partisan manner, any interest of a political party and we may not prejudice a political party interest that is legitimate in terms of the Constitution. We must refrain from involvement in party politics. How you vote is your preference outside the workplace. Conversely, government and opposition groups should not misuse the Intelligence Services for partisan political ends.

4. We must accept that our Services owe no loyalty to any political party or faction, or statutory or non-statutory security service of the past era. We owe our loyalty to the Constitution, to the citizens of our country, to the state, to the intelligence structure in which we are employed, and to each other. Any kind of partisan conflict within our ranks is unprofessional and unacceptable and cannot be tolerated.

5. We must strive to maintain high standards of technical proficiency in the performance of our functions, enhance our skills and knowledge, safeguard the property and other assets of the state, and undertake our activities in an efficient and effective manner.

It is only in this way that we can leave a lasting heritage, which our people and indeed future generations can be proud of. It is an honour to inaugurate our new Archival Building here today. Its very presence and its mission carry a sacred burden of trust granted by our Constitution and our people. Indeed, it is a crucial element of guarding the guardians.

President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, address at the Intelligence Services Day 10th Anniversary Awards Ceremony and Inauguration of the Wall and Garden of Remembrance, Tshwane, 24 November 2005 (http://www.info.gov.za/speeches/...)

...

Both domestic and international experience informed us that without the necessary checks and balances, our own intelligence services could be tempted to use notions of secrecy as a cloak to hide abuses.

It is of the utmost importance that our intelligence services should perform their tasks in an impartial and professional manner, in accordance with the constitutional prescripts and the laws of our country, always respecting the privacy, dignity and human rights of all our citizens.

Public accountability of our intelligence services is fundamental to the manner in which they operate as instruments of the democratic order. All of us must therefore respect both the regulatory framework and the institutions established to ensure good conduct and accountability.

With regard to these institutions, I refer specifically to the Minister for Intelligence, who represents the Executive, the Parliamentary Oversight Committee, the Inspector-general of Intelligence, and the Judge delegated the responsibility to authorise electronic intercepts.

Like you and the Minister for Intelligence Services, I too have sworn an oath of allegiance undertaking to serve the Constitution, the people and the laws of the country. Like you, I cannot treat the taking of this oath as a meaningless formality, allowing myself to turn a blind eye to such unlawful acts as may come to my notice.

Like you, I cannot simply bend the rules to suit myself. I cannot put my personal interests above those of the nation, because if I did, I would be subverting and destroying the very democracy for which so many of our people fought and died.

All of us have to take very seriously the laws and regulations guiding our work. These laws should always guide our actions. Unlike in the past, the intelligence services do not stand above the law, nor are they beyond its reach. Accordingly, all your activities must be conducted in accordance with the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the democratic ethos of our society.

...

Minister for Intelligence Services, Ronnie Kasrils, MP, Budget Vote for Intelligence Services, National Assembly, Cape Town, 1 June 2006 (http://www.info.gov.za/speeches/...)

...

During the past year our country was wracked by a severe intelligence crisis. Grave misconduct by rogue elements within the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) included unauthorised surveillance of citizens; unlawful interception of the communication of members of the public and of Parliamentarians; the fabrication of bogus e-mails as part of a political conspiracy; and evasions and lying to the President, the Minister and the Inspector-General for Intelligence.

These actions were a gross abuse of state power and resources. In the words of the Inspector-General, Mr Zolile Ngcakani, they posed the risk of undermining constitutionally protected party political freedoms. The misconduct has unquestionably damaged the credibility of the domestic intelligence agency in the eyes of public and Parliament.

My speech today is necessarily devoted to commenting on that crisis and to presenting various initiatives aimed at preventing a recurrence.

...

In terms of the Constitution, the intelligence services may no longer operate beyond the reach of the law. They are fully subject to the law and the jurisdiction of the courts. No one may issue an illegal order to the intelligence services, and members must disobey a manifestly illegal order.

The intelligence services are obliged to respect the Bill of Rights, which affirms the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom.

In order to ensure legitimate conduct, the Constitution insists that all members of the security services must be taught to act in accordance with the Constitution and the law.

It states emphatically that the intelligence services may not further in a partisan manner any interest of a political party; and may not prejudice a political party interest that is legitimate in terms of the Constitution.

The intelligence services may have no loyalty to a political party or faction. Their allegiance is to the Constitution and the law; to the state and the executive authority; and to the citizens of our country. Their mandate is to act in the national interest by contributing to the security and well-being of all our people, irrespective of colour, creed or party affiliation.

Because of their power and the inherent risk of abuse of power, the security services should be subject to extensive controls and rigorous oversight by the elected and duly appointed civil authority. The underlying need is captured by the rhetorical question posed by the ancient Roman satirist Juvenal: 'Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes?' 'But who will guard the guards themselves?' Who will police the police and supervise the spies?

Our Constitution answers this question by providing for executive oversight through the President and the Minister for Intelligence Services. The Minister has political responsibility for the control and direction of these services. The other pillars of oversight are the multi-party Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence and the Inspector-General for Intelligence, whose appointment by the President must be approved by at least two-thirds of the members of this Assembly.

...

I have highlighted these constitutional provisions in order to make three points in relation to the recent events.

The first is to assert unambiguously the primacy of the Constitution. Regardless of our individual place in society--whether President, minister, parliamentarian, intelligence officer or member of the public--we are bound by this law. Regardless of the importance of our post or mission, we are obliged to act according to its rules and within its boundaries.

Second, it is patently clear that the former Director General of NIA and some of his colleagues violated the Constitution. The seriousness of the matter is heightened by their seniority as state officials.

Third, the Executive has acted decisively against the wrongdoers because we are obliged to protect and defend the Constitution. We have demonstrated our unequivocal determination to uphold the rule of law.

...

... It is imperative that we use this lamentable episode at NIA to undertake fundamental reforms that go beyond simply dealing with a few rotten apples to improving the overall quality of the barrel and making it as rot-proof as possible.

Our aim must be to ensure that intelligence abuses do not occur again. We must strengthen legislation, regulations, operational procedures and control measures as well as oversight mechanisms wherever necessary. We must re-examine some of our mandates. We must attend to the perfidious mentality that enabled these dirty tricks to take place. And we must place our reforms in the public domain so as to rebuild public confidence and trust.

In the wake of the flagrant abuse of intelligence resources I immediately imposed interim Ministerial control measures on the authorisation and conduct of surveillance operations and interception of communications.

We are working towards finalising improved procedures and measures. I can report on three key initiatives in this regard.

Firstly, members will recall my announcement last year of the formation of a departmental Legislative Task Team to provide assessments on a range of policy and legal issues. Following the discovery of the skulduggery within NIA, I expanded the Team's brief to review the legislation, internal regulations and operating procedures in order to identify changes that would help to prevent abuses occurring in the future.

The Task Team has completed its work and presented me with an extensive report, for which I am grateful. The report contains important recommendations for strengthening oversight and controls and for reviewing the so-called 'political intelligence' mandate.

...

But I want to make the following pledges:

-- We will place the National Communications Centre (NCC) under tighter reign so that its capacity can only be used in the national interest and not, as was done, to violate even the sanctity of this Parliament by unlawfully intercepting telephone communications.

-- And we will ensure that the newly established Office of Interception Centres (OIC) created in terms of Act 70 of 2002, which comes into effect on 1st July, is effectively run and controlled.

-- I also wish to add that further control measures will be guided by the findings of an internal enquiry into the botched surveillance operation on Mr Macozoma which apart from being unauthorised was seriously deficient in its command and control aspects.

I turn now to a second major initiative that will soon be embarked on. We intend launching a comprehensive, Public Intelligence Review.

The intelligence services have not had the benefit of a public review, such as occurred with the Military and the Police post-1994. More than ten years after the formation of our services, it is necessary to take stock of our experiences.

...

As the conduct of certain dishonourable members of the NIA demonstrated, control systems alone, do not suffice, since there are those who will seek to subvert them. Consequently, we must seek ways to strengthen the commitment of our members to sound moral values and a professional work ethic.

This brings me to our third major initiative. Shortly after the Inspector-General presented his findings in October last year, I announced my intention of establishing a Civic Education Programme to make sure that all intelligence personnel respect and adhere to the law and democratic norms.

I can report that preparations are underway and I have already participated in a Workshop with my top managers to conceptualise the programme. It will be conducted through a series of workshops for which the Service Heads will be responsible. Aspects of the programme will also be incorporated into the training conducted by the South African National Academy for Intelligence (SANAI).

We have identified the main themes of the curriculum. They include an understanding of intelligence legislation and the Constitution, particularly the Bill of Rights; the implications of the new approach to security outlined in the Constitution; defining intelligence professionalism in the context of a democratic South Africa; and understanding the role of the oversight bodies. Civil society experts will be invited to help us prepare and deliver this curriculum, which will be unclassified and therefore open to public scrutiny.

...

Republic of South Africa, Intelligence Services Ministry, Ministerial Review Commission on Intelligence, 1 November 2006 (http://www.intelligence.gov.za/...)

TERMS OF REFERENCE OF THE COMMISSION

Establishment of Commission

The Ministerial Review Commission on Intelligence is hereby established by the Minister for Intelligence Services.

...

Terms of Reference

Aim of the review

The aim of the review is to strengthen mechanisms of control of the civilian intelligence structures in order to ensure full compliance and alignment with the Constitution, constitutional principles and the rule of law, and particularly to minimise the potential for illegal conduct and abuse of power.

The review shall focus on the following civilian intelligence structures:

a. National intelligence Agency (NIA),

b. South African Secret Service (SASS),

c. National Intelligence Coordinating Committee (NICOC),

d. National Communications Centre (NCC),

e. Electronic Communications Security (Pty) Ltd (COMSEC) and

f. Office for Interception Centres (OIC).

Independence of the Commission

The Commission shall be independent. No person or body may do anything to undermine its independence or seek to influence the Commissioners in an improper manner.

Focus of the review

The focus of the review shall include the following topics in so far as they relate to the aim of the Commission:

-- Executive control of the intelligence services;

-- Control mechanisms related to intelligence services' operations;

-- Control over intrusive methods of investigation;

-- The spheres of activity currently referred to as political and economic intelligence;

-- Political non-partisanship of the intelligence services;

-- The balance between secrecy and transparency; and

-- Controls over the funding of covert operations.

Minister for Intelligence Services, Ronnie Kasrils, MP, Intelligence Services Day, Musanda, 23 November 2006 (http://www.intelligence.gov.za/...)

...

Mention must be made of the extent to which the emphasis on strengthening internal compliance mechanisms has improved the quality of information collected. This has brought about greater focus and specificity in determining operations, objectives and targets; and better monitoring and clearer accountability measures. This has resulted in an improved intelligence focus, where activities are beginning to be directed to areas where our nation's interests are most vulnerable.

The development and modification of Standard Operating Procedures in the conduct of operations and the introduction of more stringent control measures within NIA, SASS and NCC have all contributed to improved standards. This will be consolidated further with the work of the Ministerial Review Commission, launched last month, and augmented by the recommendations of the Legislative Task Team.

We are also seeing improvement in the quality of the analysis provided. NICOC has made inroads here through the introduction of Project Teams, grouped according to the major intelligence priorities and made up of specialists from across the services--including Crime, DSO, Defence and Finance Intelligence--with access to the relevant information from all departments. This innovation is bearing fruit, as reflected in a new process towards the development of this year's National Intelligence Estimate.

The establishment of the Association of Intelligence Analysts, coupled with those efforts undertaken at a departmental level, bode well for building our analytical capacity and in ensuring that analysis takes its place at the centre of the Intelligence Cycle, driving our collection priorities at operational and strategic levels.

These improvements in collection and analysis have in turn resulted in an improvement in the overall quality of our intelligence products. They are also reflected in the range of products provided, allowing for greater specialisation and focus.

...

Minister for Intelligence Services, Ronnie Kasrils, MP, Intelligence Services Budget Debate, National Assembly, Cape Town, 25 May 2007 (http://www.info.gov.za/speeches/...)

...

The common thread binding these initiatives is our belief that certain matters of intelligence policy must be subject to informed public debate. There is no room in the services of a healthy democracy, such as ours, for warped or inappropriate notions of secrecy. If tolerated, these become counter-productive and harmful to the intelligence practitioners themselves. We have an obligation to place a high premium on greater accountability, which is why during this year we intend introducing legislation setting out a process for the declassification of information, which the current Protection of Information Act makes no provision for.

Indeed, we must allow for access to certain information in the interests of national security. We must make it clear, however, that there are instances where we are required to jealously protect information in the very interests of national security. These instances are clearly set out in law; they relate to safeguarding the identities of agents and sources and details of operations, the effectiveness of which depends on the secrecy that we must maintain.

Therefore the fuss about our recent application to the Constitutional Court for the continued protection of certain documents from public disclosure in the Masetlha appeal is very difficult to fathom. These documents amount to a small fraction of the court record and have legitimately been withheld precisely because they contain those details that we are legally prohibited from disclosing. Our actions contrary to the distorted headline's proclaiming that we are 'above the law' were in keeping with our responsibilities in terms of the law. We abide by transparency in the public interest but will rigorously apply the rules of secrecy where appropriate. After all if we do not operate according to the necessary rules of secrecy and security we would be no more than a glorified information and research bureau!

...

2. DEFENCE INTELLIGENCE

Republic of South Africa, 2007 Estimates of National Expenditure, Defence Budget Vote, Vote 20, February 2007 (http://www.treasury.gov.za/...)

...

The Defence Intelligence programme provides defence intelligence and counterintelligence for operational security in support of the department. It also provides for personnel vetting.

There are three subprogrammes:

-- Strategic Direction provides defence intelligence policy, doctrine and advice in support of the department's decision making and policy formulation processes.

-- Operations provides defence prediction, intelligence and counterintelligence capabilities and services, and informs clients on time.

-- Defence Intelligence Support Services provides human resource, logistic, planning, security, labour relations, training and information support services to the defence intelligence community.

...

Defence Intelligence produced intelligence products (studies, reports, digests, briefings, etc.) as targeted for 2005/06 and responded to specific intelligence requirements from various clients. During the first six months of 2006/07, Defence Intelligence produced more than the targeted number of intelligence products and responded to unscheduled National Intelligence Co-ordinating Committee requests. Defence Intelligence also provided technological intelligence inputs to force development components, the defence related industry and research institutes.

...

* Official perceptions regarding Strategic Intelligence in the RSA over the period 1992-2002, formed the focus of ISSUP Ad Hoc Publication No 39 of November 2002.
COPYRIGHT 2007 University of Pretoria, Institute for Strategic Studies
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Institute for Strategic Studies
Geographic Code:6SOUT
Date:Dec 1, 2007
Words:8429
Previous Article:Part II: defence policy and strategy.
Next Article:Part IV: contemporary challenges and emerging issues.
Topics:

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |