Concern over developments in North West, KZN

Friday, May 18, 2018

While South Africa enjoys relative stability, the Department of State Security has expressed concern at recent developments in KwaZulu-Natal and North West provinces.

“We are concerned by the recent developments in KwaZulu-Natal and in the North West in particular,” State Security Minister Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba said on Friday.

This as news broke this week of informal traders from other African countries receiving threats to leave KwaZulu-Natal.

The Hawks also confirmed that a device found at the Imam Hussain mosque in Verulam was indeed a bomb. The device was discovered after three worshippers were attacked by unknown suspects, one of whom has passed on. 

Earlier this week, it was announced that President Cyril Ramaphosa has set the wheels in motion to intervene in the North West province by placing it under administration.

Tabling the department’s Budget Vote, the Minister said South Africa enjoys relative stability save for sporadic incidences of unrest which do not constitute a national threat.

“There is no orchestrated campaign or action to create instability on a national scale. We maintain that South Africans have a constitutional right to protest but we continue to condemn the violence and destruction of property that is sometimes associated with such action.”

The Minister said South Africa is also concerned over the influence of extremists and terror group operating on the African continent.

Cyber security

She also expressed concern at South Africa’s cyber security risk level, saying this remains high.

“In both the public and private spheres, South Africa continues to suffer damage through the compromising of the confidentiality and integrity of information and systems. It is highly likely that cyber actors enjoy a continuing presence. In this regard, substantial amounts of secrets and intellectual property continue to be lost through cyber espionage.”

She said government will continue to secure the country’s cyber space and critical infrastructure, whilst awaiting Parliament to complete its work on the Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill.

She urged the public to continue to exercise greater caution and care when using cyber platforms.

Fighting corruption

The Minister said that corruption poses the most significant threat to the country’s national security and the well-being of its people.

“The state security structures unfortunately seem not to have been spared from this scourge either, with recent allegations of irregular and unlawful conduct. We will have to confront these allegations of corruption and misconduct in the state security structures head-on and hold the guilty parties responsible to the letter of the law and take steps to recover monies not accounted for.”

She said a prerequisite in the fight against corruption and state capture is for those structures charged with the responsibility of fighting corruption to be cleansed first in order for them to fulfil their responsibilities, without fear, favour or prejudice.

The department has started to conduct proactive risk assessments of government institutions, including state owned enterprises in order to gain an idea of the extent of actual corruption and to put in mitigation measures.

2019 General Elections

Meanwhile, the Minister  said that as with the previous five national and provincial elections, the State Security Agency, in collaboration with the  (Justice Crime Prevention and Security ) JCPS cluster, will have to create the conditions to ensure that the upcoming election are secure, credible, free and fair.

The Minister said the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is crucial in delivering credible election results, adding that the State Security Agency (SSA) has an obligation to assist the IEC in ensuring that its systems and procedures are free of any form of vulnerability. –