Has Arthur Fraser damaged a decades-long norm for State Safety?

OPINION

The choice by Arthur Fraser to put expenses towards the President of the Republic for doable breach of the international locations legal guidelines in response to a theft on the President Cyril Ramaphosa’s farm in February 2020 was in precept an accurate
one. Right choices ought to by no means be delayed as a result of there’s a looming election that is perhaps influenced by such a call.

That is significantly vital for bureaucrats, particularly these in Intelligence and regulation enforcement, who should all the time be guided by their integrity and talent as they discharge their duties in an effort to uphold the international locations
lofty values which ensures collective acceptance of their choices, even in probably the most delicate of instances.

Integrity and talent as constant values of our bureaucrats provides us confidence within the choices they make as each credible, sincere and within the curiosity of the folks.

It’s when such bureaucrats haven’t proven any constant integrity of their work over time, whilst they might present capacity, that the consequential choices they might take are handled with nice suspicion and will finally be seen as utilizing their previous and current State Safety privileges for political gamesmanship.

That Arthur Fraser has not proven any integrity in his profession as a State Safety agent is effectively understood. Like earlier staff of the farm nonetheless, he had by no means gone so far as eroding the long-standing norms of the company of excessive loyalty and sworn confidentiality on all data one would have encountered by advantage of his privileged place lengthy after they’ve left the service.

Arthur Fraser has crossed the Rubicon

The politicisation of the State Safety has been lengthy within the making in our nation and one Arthur Fraser has been on the centre of it. Whereas Fraser started his profession as a trusted Agent, significantly by the celebrated former director-general of State Safety, the cerebral and erudite Vusi Mavimbela (now ambassador to Egypt) by appointing him head of the Western Cape department of State Safety Company (then the Nationwide Intelligence Company ), and what commendable work he might need finished to diffuse Pagad, Fraser didn’t, like Mavimbela, select to hitch the non-public sector when it was clear that political leaders have been encroaching on the independence of State Safety. He selected to be on the centre of such encroachment.

Consequently, Frazier isn’t some nonpartisan Don Quixote able to swim towards the prevailing tide in an effort to save the republic towards a harmful President too good at hiding his tracks.

Fraser has determined to make use of his closeness and doable friendships with folks he might solely have identified due to his outdated privileged place at SSA to belief him with data solely due to this carry-on privilege – if to not blackmail them due to the exact same privileged place he as soon as held – to assault a sitting President he doesn’t favour.

Whereas Ramaphosa should reply why two years later a theft at his home was nonetheless not reported to the police, it begs a query why Fraser additionally waited two years to put the cost within the yr of ANC presidential elections.

Fraser should have identified that from a State Safety place, it would probably be a safety danger to publicly announce a theft on the President’s farm and the convenience with which this was finished and most significantly, any insinuation {that a} President sometimes has such sums of cash in his possession (rightly or wrongly) would make the President a ‘financial institution on wheels’ and it will not be too lengthy that some foolhardy and brazen thug would assume he can tackle the Presidents house or envoy.

Holding the matter inside the Presidential Safety Unit would most probably have been a prudential recommendation taken by the safety element, for safety causes and the way this was dealt with, rightly or wrongly would have been a effectively thought of safety determination given the long run safety of the President as the first consideration. Such a call on the way to deal with the matter wouldn’t have been taken evenly or by the President alone with out safety recommendation.

For political gamesmanship nonetheless, understanding all these doable eventualities and dangers, Fraser has determined to interrupt all norms and danger compromising an establishment that has all the time been a essential cowl for the State and President, the place delicate issues are shared with out worry of future abuse and breaking of belief.

Fraser and political gamesmanship

Extra critically, such accusations towards the President align with the counter-accusation from these going through doable jail time for his or her function in State Seize and corruption from renewed establishment by the identical President, individuals who have all the time wished to show, not their innocence, however relatively that the President himself isn’t a saint as he might painting himself to be.

Fraser has due to this fact damaged the decades-long norm for State Safety personnel of by no means utilizing their privileged place downstream to realize political benefit for themselves or their most well-liked candidates.

Fraser’s actions place the SSA on a harmful path of being seen as aligned to specific political pursuits
as a substitute of defending the State from enemies home and international. What occurs when the political social gathering or chief they’re aligned to is the one threatening the safety of the State?

This habits successfully means present and former SSA might, by advantage of their privileged place, tilt the political scales in favour of their chosen political leaders and resolve who must be President. This makes SSA not a protector of our sovereignty and legal guidelines however a political pawn that makes use of its entry to gather damaging data to
resolve who rises and who falls.

Conclusion

It’s now upon the present administration and State Safety head to overview its guidelines relevant to each present and retired brokers who might have entry to numerous states confidential data and could also be inclined to make use of such data to feed what exaggerated grievance they may have towards one political chief or one other.

It’s a State safety danger itself for a former director-general of the nation’s state safety to be utilizing data at his disposal which he’s more likely to have gotten by advantage of the privileges of his previous lofty workplace to run amok harassing politicians of the day.

Fraser have to be disciplined and reigned in earlier than these against him who might also be former members of State Safety come out of the woodworks within the identify of stopping him and we discover ourselves with a battle of State Safety brokers which can carry our Republic to its knees, one thing that appears to obviously be the purpose of what beneficiaries of State Seize.

Yonela Diko is the previous spokesperson to the Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation. You may observe him on Twitter: @yonela_diko

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