The DA will write to the Inspection General of Intelligence, Dr Setlhomamaru Isaac Dintwe, to request that he conduct an investigation into the allegations made by South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) journalists during the hearings into the SABC that their communications were monitored and intercepted by the State Security Agency (SSA).
A reply to a Parliamentary Question revealed that Judge Yvonne Mokgoro “has not to the best of her recollection authorised the State Security Agency to intercept the communications of any individuals said to be working for the South African Broadcasting Corporation” in the 2014-15 and 2015-16 financial years and since 1 April 2016.
The allegations of communications interception are also reflected in the final report of the Ad-Hoc Committee on the inquiry into the fitness of the SABC Board adopted by Parliament.
If Judge Mokgoro did not authorise the alleged tapping, it is possible that it was done without authorisation, which is a criminal offense and must be treated with the seriousness it deserves.
The tapping of phones is in violation of section 14 of the Constitution that states, “Everyone has the right to privacy, which includes the right not to have the privacy of their communications infringed.”
If it is found that the SSA did unlawfully monitor and intercept the communications of SABC employees, they must be held to account.
Press freedom is a cornerstone of our democracy and we simply cannot have a situation where journalists are working in an atmosphere of fear and intimidation.
The DA is deeply concerned at this allegedly irregular use of state resources and believes that Dr Dintwe’s report, once completed, must come before the Minister of Intelligence and Parliament as a whole, not only the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence, and that disciplinary action should be taken where applicable.