Government humiliation as man cons his way into most secure intelligence networks

Issued by Dianne Kohler Barnard MP – DA member of the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence
29 Jan 2024 in News

Please find attached a soundbite by Dianne Kohler Barnard MP.

South Africans are hearing how a 24-year-old allegedly pulled the wool over the eyes of the entire South African intelligence and security community by misrepresenting himself to the South African intelligence and security services as a United Nations ambassador. SA Intelligence structures and SAPS failed to verify any of this information and allowed him access to the inner sanctum of SA’s intelligence briefings and events.

It has been reported that Nhlanhla Sizani, now charged with fraud, participated in several events and an award ceremony hosted by the SAPS, “observed” the 2021 Local Government Elections, and even attended the funeral of a SAPS official killed in the line of duty.

In what would perhaps be the most damning indictment on the competence of our intelligence community, Mr Sizani is even reported to have personally received briefings on our nation’s state of readiness for the 2021 Local Government Elections from the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure – or NatJoints – the most senior security cluster, headed by the SSA, the SAPS, and the SANDF.

In fact, what he is reported to have seen and heard is subject to such a high-security classification that even those with top-secret security clearance would not have received the same briefing.

With budgets running up billions of Rands in taxpayer funds, our intelligence and security services have failed to keep us safe and secure. Neither our defence intelligence, the SSA, crime intelligence, nor VIP Protection Services – who jointly receive approximately R10 billion out of the national budget for their efforts –picked up this alleged fraud.

Mr Sizani has even stood shoulder to shoulder with ministers, police commissioners, spy bosses, and even the President himself, all reportedly on the back of a faked UN letterhead, without so much as an inspection by any of our security services.

With this blunder, the South African Government has truly become a laughingstock of the international intelligence community. The question now begs, what consequence management will take place from this scandal, or will the ANC, yet again, brush this under the carpet while ANC cadres continue to occupy top positions – free from any form of consequences.

The DA will write to the Chairperson of the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence to request that he summon those responsible for this catastrophic failure of our top security cluster so that they may explain themselves and, more importantly, explain to the Committee why they should not lose their jobs for this egregious lapse of judgement.

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