Al­low spy in­spec­tor space to work

CityPress - - Voices -

The main les­son from the po­lice in­fight­ing in the past few years was that it al­lowed the crim­i­nals to roam free and leave cit­i­zens be­sieged. The fight was so scary that po­lice re­sources, which should be used to fight crime, were used to save the egos of the in­di­vid­u­als as po­lice re­fused to co­op­er­ate with the in­ves­ti­ga­tion of their then boss Kho­motso Phahlane.

Fast-for­ward to this week’s events when it emerged that State Se­cu­rity Agency head Arthur Fraser al­legedly in­tim­i­dated In­spec­tor-Gen­eral of In­tel­li­gence Setl­homa­maru Din­twe. Fraser al­legedly even tried to sus­pend Din­twe – hav­ing no au­thor­ity to do so. This bat­tle, which is play­ing it­self out in courts, is be­cause Din­twe has been do­ing his job – that of in­ves­ti­gat­ing the con­duct of in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cers, in­clud­ing Fraser.

Din­twe has been in­ves­ti­gat­ing Fraser fol­low­ing com­plaints, em­a­nat­ing from Jac­ques Pauw’s book The Pres­i­dent’s Keep­ers, which im­pli­cated Fraser in run­ning a par­al­lel in­tel­li­gence net­work in his ear­lier stint as spy boss be­fore 2010. The book claimed an in­ter­nal probe had con­cluded that Fraser should be crim­i­nally charged.

Af­ter he started the probe, Din­twe claims in court pa­pers that Fraser threat­ened that he would re­voke his se­cu­rity clear­ance.

While Fraser was yet to re­spond to the court ac­tion, the public spat is un­wel­come and would have a se­vere ef­fect on how the in­tel­li­gence com­mu­nity op­er­ates.

Din­twe should be given the space to con­duct his in­ves­ti­ga­tion and Fraser must co­op­er­ate with such a probe, as the law dic­tates. Should Fraser be un­happy with the in­ves­ti­ga­tions, the courts are the fi­nal ar­biters on mat­ters like this. But no one should refuse to be in­ves­ti­gated be­cause of the po­si­tion he or she oc­cu­pies.

We are equal be­fore the law and the coun­try’s in­tel­li­gence does not need a clash of egos.

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