News and Information

SA acts against spies in ANC row
October 21, 2005

Saki Macozoma, a close ally of President Thabo Mbeki
Mr Macozoma is seen as part of the president's inner circle
South Africa has suspended its top three intelligence officials.

Media have linked the suspensions to the split in the governing ANC party, between President Thabo Mbeki and sacked Deputy President Jacob Zuma.

The suspensions follow allegations that Saki Macozoma - a prominent businessman and close ally of President Mbeki - had come under surveillance.

Intelligence Minister Ronnie Kasrils suspended intelligence agency director general, Billie Masethla, on Friday.

I complained to the minister and he confirmed it was the NIA that was involved
Saki Macozoma

This followed the suspension on Thursday of the National Intelligence Agency's deputy director general, Gibson Njenje, and general manager, Bob Mhlanga.

The NIA officials are alleged to have placed Mr Macozoma under surveillance illegally.

Mr Macozoma told the Mail & Guardian newspaper: "It is correct they did survey me. I found out because it was an overt and in-your-face kind of thing.

"I complained to the minister and he confirmed it was the NIA that was involved," Mr Macozoma added.

Inner circle

Mr Macozoma is a member of the ANC's National Executive Committee and is seen as part of the president's inner circle.

It is believed he could wield influence in the appointment of a successor to Mr Mbeki, who is to step down from the ANC leadership in 2007 and from the national presidency in 2009.

Mr Zuma, previously seen as the natural successor to Mr Mbeki, was sacked by the president in June, and was later charged with corruption.

The charges have caused deep rifts within the ANC, with two factions identified respectively with Mr Mbeki, and with Mr Zuma, who remains deputy president of the party.

Mr Zuma retains widespread popular support, and was cheered by hundreds of ANC supporters when he appeared in court last week.


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