For several days, South Africa's Commission of Inquiry into State Capture has heard testimony into the corruption at the country's State Security Agency (SSA), the top intelligence agency in South Africa. Testimony has been heard from current and former agents and employees of the agency who have gone to painstaking lengths to reveal details of the magnitude of the corruption that took place when Jacob Zuma was South Africa's president.

At its core, any country's intelligence services are meant to protect the country against domestic and foreign threats to its sovereignty and other matters. This also extends to protecting citizens against any such threats with the overarching aim being protecting the country's sovereignty.

This is no different with the SSA as it states its mandate as:

"The mandate of the SSA is to provide the government with intelligence on domestic and foreign threats or potential threats to national stability, the constitutional order, and the safety and wellbeing of our people."

Unfortunately, for a period of close to 9 years and based on evidence at the Commission of Inquiry, the SSA has been doing anything but protecting national stability and sovereignty. This can also be observed as organized crime, cash in transit heists, and other forms of crime have gone up during the same period in South Africa.

Among the testimonies is two alleged key SSA projects - Project Justice and Project Commitment.

According to the testimonies corroborated by different people at the Commission, Project Justice was created to access state resources to be used to "recruit and handle” sources in the South Africa's Justice System β€œin order to influence the outcome of cases against President Zuma."

Project Commitment on the other hand also allegedly had the former President, Zuma, at its center. South Africa's former Minister of State Security, David Mahlobo, is said to have collected monthly cash payments withdrawn from the SSA between 2015 and 2017 to hand them over to the former President Zuma. Testimony was heard that heard that Zuma received R2,5-million in cash per month during the 2015/16 financial year, this was later increased to R4,5 million per month during the 2016/17 financial year.

All this testimony of corruption at South Africa's SSA points to one thing, there has been no intelligence in South Africa.

This reminds me of something Thomas Sankara, the former revolutionary and president of Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta) once said when delivering a speech at a mass rally on 26 March 1983:

β€œBut who are the enemies of the people? The enemies of the people inside the country are all those who have taken advantage of their social position, of their bureaucratic position, to enrich themselves illicitly. In this way, through maneuvers, through graft, and through forged documents, they find themselves corporate shareholders, they find themselves financing some company, they find themselves seeking approval for this or that company. They claim they are serving Upper Volta. These are the enemies of the people."

Sadly, in 2021, as we are hearing from South Africa's Commission of Inquiry into State Capture as well as across Africa, the situation hasn't changed much from that of Burkina Faso in 1983.

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πŸ—žοΈ The African Union has announced the launch of the first digital online platform aimed at improving the protection of journalists across Africa. Known as the "Digital Platform for the Safety of Journalists in Africa," the platform will aim to address threats and violence against journalists, foster early warning mechanisms, and enhance response capacity within the continent. Link

πŸ“° The African Union's "Digital Platform for the Safety of Journalists in Africa" is a welcome project because not only are journalists being intimidated and killed across Africa, governments are also increasingly looking to censor online media. Link

πŸ’‰ South Africa has started using an online platform to track COVID-19 vaccinations. The first batch of people to be vaccinated will be health professionals. Link

πŸ‘©πŸΎβ€βš•οΈ Learn more about South Africa's EVDS platform by the Department of Health. Link

Today's Quote

The state of Africa confirms what Thomas Sankara once said: "The enemies of the people inside the country are all those who have taken advantage of their social position, of their bureaucratic position, to enrich themselves illicitly." (Tweet this | Share on WhatsApp)

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