In­tel­li­gence can­di­dates grilled by MPs

CityPress - - News - ANDISIWE MAKINANA andisiwe.makinana@city­

Par­lia­ment this week in­ter­viewed 10 can­di­dates for the po­si­tion of in­spec­tor gen­eral of in­tel­li­gence, a po­si­tion it has tried but failed to fill on three oc­ca­sions over the past 20 months.

The of­fice has been with­out an ac­count­ing of­fi­cer since March last year, when Faith Radebe re­tired, leav­ing no one to legally sign off on in­ves­ti­ga­tions or re­lease doc­u­ments to the pub­lic. Its com­plaints func­tion is “op­er­a­tional to a cer­tain ex­tent”.

The po­si­tion is pro­vided for in the Con­sti­tu­tion and in terms of the In­tel­li­gence Ser­vices Over­sight Act, and is re­spon­si­ble for mon­i­tor­ing in­tel­li­gence ser­vices and be­ing a watch­dog that in­ves­ti­gates com­plaints against the spooks.

Par­lia­ment has tried but failed to fill the po­si­tion as the ANC sought to push its favourite can­di­date, Ce­cil Burgess, a for­mer ANC MP, but its at­tempts were thwarted by op­po­si­tion MPs who would frus­trate a quo­rum. Be­cause it is a con­sti­tu­tional ap­point­ment, the suc­cess­ful can­di­date re­quires the sup­port of twothirds of Na­tional Assem­bly MPs. The fol­low­ing can­di­dates are be­ing con­sid­ered:

an in­for­ma­tion science and knowl­edge dy­nam­ics pro­fes­sor at the Univer­sity of Stel­len­bosch, was grilled on his three pass­ports – South African, Dutch and Cana­dian. He was born in Zim­babwe to South African par­ents, but stud­ied in Canada and the Nether­lands. He vowed that de­spite hold­ing three cit­i­zen­ships, he was loyal to South Africa and was pre­pared to re­lin­quish his cit­i­zen­ship of the other two coun­tries if it jeop­ar­dised his chances of get­ting the job. MPs did not ap­pear con­vinced. His ar­eas of ex­per­tise in­clude cy­ber se­cu­rity, data science as well as knowl­edge dy­nam­ics and al­go­rith­mics.

Bruce Wat­son, Jayashree Govender

was the only fe­male can­di­date to be short-listed and in­ter­viewed.

Be­fore her in­ter­view, she ap­peared to be a fron­trun­ner. She is a le­gal ad­viser in the of­fice of the in­spec­tor gen­eral of in­tel­li­gence and has worked in that of­fice for 12 years. She has been in­ter­viewed for the po­si­tion be­fore, but Par­lia­ment aban­doned those pro­cesses with­out fi­nal­is­ing them.

Govender, who showed in­tense knowl­edge of the of­fice and the job, ap­peared rat­tled as MPs ques­tioned some of the func­tions she and her co-ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee mem­bers have been per­form­ing in the ab­sence of an in­spec­tor gen­eral.

Mam­pogoane Nch­a­be­leng

is a se­nior man­ager in the of­fice of the in­spec­tor gen­eral. He pre­vi­ously worked as a man­ager for em­ployee re­la­tions at the Na­tional In­tel­li­gence Agency and be­fore that he was a le­gal ad­viser to the ANC.

Like Govender, Nch­a­be­leng seemed to have vast knowl­edge of the work of the in­spec­tor gen­eral. He is, af­ter all, part of the ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee that has kept the of­fice run­ning in the ab­sence of its ac­count­ing of­fi­cer.

But a DA MP was more in­ter­ested in why Nch­a­be­leng at­tached a re­fer­ral let­ter from a Lim­popo MEC, ques­tion­ing his po­lit­i­cal in­de­pen­dence.

had a breeze of an in­ter­view, noth­ing com­pared with other can­di­dates’ ex­pe­ri­ence in the hot seat. This was fur­ther ev­i­dent by how re­laxed he ap­peared af­ter the two-hour in­ter­view, even pos­ing for cell­phone pic­tures.

Ngidi is an ad­viser to KwaZulu-Natal Pre­mier Wil­lies Mchunu, a job he started in June this year. Be­fore that, he was the di­rec­tor-gen­eral in the of­fice of the pre­mier be­tween 2010 and May last year. He was a mem­ber of the KwaZulu-Natal pro­vin­cial leg­is­la­ture for eight years and has also worked as head of the crime anal­y­sis divi­sion in the erst­while Scor­pi­ons.

CV shows that he was deputy chair­per­son of his high school de­bat­ing so­ci­ety, but he showed none of it when he ap­peared for his in­ter­view on Wed­nes­day.

From the out­set, Kil­ifele told MPs that he was ter­ri­fied and had never felt more ter­ri­fied in his life. From there, he crum­bled and was close to tears as MPs grilled him about how he left a pre­vi­ous job.

Kil­ifele is a stay-at-home fa­ther with a bach­e­lor’s in so­cial science from the Univer­sity of Cape Town. He also holds a law de­gree from the Univer­sity of the Wit­wa­ter­srand.

Vic­tor Ngidi Andile Kil­ifele’s Clin­ton Davids

is a for­mer Umkhonto weSizwe soldier and was the ANC’s in­tel­li­gence unit com­man­der in the Western Cape be­tween 1991 and 1995.

In his CV, Davids states that he is an ac­knowl­edged best prac­tice ex­pert in manag­ing, plan­ning and im­ple­ment­ing in­tel­li­gence op­er­a­tions and in­ves­ti­ga­tions for spe­cial events.

But his claim that, in 2007, he led “a mock in­tel­li­gence op­er­a­tion” in the event for­mer pres­i­dent Nel­son Man­dela died drew sev­eral ques­tions from MPs. Some stated that he should not have bragged about such in his CV; oth­ers ques­tioned whether there was any truth to the state­ment.

is an over­sight prin­ci­pal of­fi­cer in the of­fice of the in­spec­tor gen­eral and a mem­ber of the ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee that has kept that of­fice run­ning in the ab­sence of its ac­count­ing of­fi­cer. He has a long record in in­tel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ties and was a lec­turer be­fore that.

Like his two col­leagues, who were in­ter­viewed be­fore him, MPs gave him a hard time about his work in that of­fice, which they de­scribed as fall­ing apart.

He is soft-spo­ken, but stood his ground. MPs also seemed to have a prob­lem that he has a cer­tifi­cate as an in­spec­tor gen­eral in­ves­ti­ga­tor from the US.

They re­peat­edly probed him about per­ceived ties with that coun­try.

Smanga Phillip Jele Bright­boy Nh­laka­nipho Nkont­wana

is the head of the Gaut­eng’s co­op­er­a­tive gover­nance and tra­di­tional af­fairs depart­ment.

Nkont­wana has a long his­tory in the pub­lic ser­vice, hav­ing worked in the na­tional de­part­ments of co­op­er­a­tive gover­nance and tra­di­tional af­fairs; and pub­lic ser­vice and ad­min­is­tra­tion, where he worked as act­ing di­rec­tor-gen­eral and also served as an ad­viser to Min­is­ter Lindiwe Sisulu.

His only link to in­tel­li­gence was when he worked as a hu­man re­sources and re­mu­ner­a­tion spe­cial­ist at the In­tel­li­gence Ser­vices Coun­cil be­tween De­cem­ber 2002 and June 2004.

Nyelisani Tshitereke

has a PhD in po­lit­i­cal science from the Queen’s Univer­sity in Kingston, Canada.

Tshitereke has worked at the In­sti­tute for Democ­racy in SA, the In­sti­tute for Se­cu­rity Stud­ies, the pres­i­dency, Univer­sity of Cape Town, Univer­sity of Venda and Old Mu­tual, among oth­ers.

Be­tween July 2004 and De­cem­ber 2007, he worked as a se­nior an­a­lyst for the Na­tional In­tel­li­gence Agency and Na­tional In­tel­li­gence Co­or­di­nat­ing Com­mit­tee.

has a long his­tory in the po­lice. He holds a doc­tor­ate in po­lice science with spe­cial­i­sa­tion in foren­sic in­ves­ti­ga­tions, ob­tained from Unisa. Din­twe has a string of other polic­ing-re­lated qual­i­fi­ca­tions, in­clud­ing a bach­e­lor of crim­i­nal jus­tice (North West Univer­sity), a bach­e­lor of tech­nol­ogy in polic­ing (Tech­nikon SA) and a mas­ter of tech­nol­ogy in foren­sic in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

Din­twe is cur­rently the head of the po­lice prac­tice depart­ment in the Col­lege of Law at Unisa.

Setl­homa­maru Din­twe

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