Parliament, Tuesday, 13 September 2022 – The Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence (JSCI) has submitted its report on the investigation of specific allegations arising out of the Phala Phala Game Theft matter to the National Assembly (NA) for consideration.
On 5 August 2022, the Speaker of the NA, Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula requested the JSCI to investigate specific allegations arising out of the Phala Phala game farm theft. The specific allegations that the Speaker requested the committee to investigate were:
· “that (Deputy Minister in The Presidency responsible for State Security) (NG) Kodwa knew about the Phala Phala robbery and opted to keep the matter a state secret, rather than reporting the matter to the appropriate authorities. It has also been alleged that Kodwa accompanied Major General Wally Rhoode, the head of the Presidential Protection Unit during secret interactions between the South African and Namibian authorities; and
· [that] reports emerged that a secret Crime Intelligence Fund was used to finance the undercover operations which traced the thieves, with the goal of recovering the stolen money. It has been alleged that almost R2 million a month from this fund was spent to send an elite special task force to guard President Ramaphosa's private game farm. Should this be true, this would constitute a flagrant abuse of our taxpayer’s money”.
Informed by section 3 (h) of the Intelligence Services Oversight Act 40 of 1994 which states that the committee may “consider and make recommendations regarding any matter falling within the purview of this Act and referred to it by the: President, the Minister or Parliament”, Schedule B of the Rules of the JSCI, and its established procedures, the JSCI ensured that the matter was handled with the appropriate urgency, given its importance and the associated public interest, the JSCI considered the matter.
The responses from the persons mentioned in the request are as follows:
· Hon NG Kodwa, denied having prior knowledge of the alleged matter and all allegations against him.
· General SF Masemola, National Commissioner of Police, stated that no funds from the South African Police Service Crime Intelligence (SAPS-CI) Secret Services Account were utilised in relation to the theft at the Phala Phala game farm theft.
The committee found that there was no independently verifiable information to support the allegations against Hon NG Kodwa and the use of funds from the Secret Services Account of SAPS-CI.
The Chairperson of the JSCI, Mr Jerome Maake, said that “the consideration of the two specific matters related to the Phala Phala game theft by the JSCI for the purposes of reporting to the NA as requested by the Speaker, was conducted in terms of the oversight mandate of the committee as set out in the Constitution and in the Act.
Whilst this matter was considered in line with the relevant legal framework, however, it does not have any bearing on any other organ of state currently engaged with the same matter. The JSCI’s findings should not be construed as an endorsement or exoneration of any of the affected parties in the Phala Phala game farm theft”.
ISSUED BY PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE, MR JEROME MAAKE.
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