AmaBhungane, the Right2Know Campaign, theInstitute for Security Studies and the Council for the Advancement of the SouthAfrican Constitution have sent letters here and here toparliament’s joint standing committee on intelligence (JSCI), Speaker BalekaMbete and all political parties calling for the selection of a newInspector-General of Intelligence to be restarted – and to be held in the open.
The JSCI recently completed itsinterviews for a replacement in secret, despite the selection of the outgoingInspector-General, advocate Faith Radebe, having been conducted in public in2009.
AmaBhungane, Right2Know and the Institutefor Security Studies have engaged with the JSCI over recent months in anattempt to convince it to drop the cloak of secrecy at least for thisappointment, for which public trust is vital. The requests have been to noavail.
On March 30, National Council ofProvinces Speaker Thandi Modise confirmed in a letter to Right2Know that theJSCI had completed the interviews and would report to the National Assembly onthe outcome of the process.
This new call from the media and civilsociety comes at a crucial time. The Constitution requires the JSCI’spreferred candidate to be endorsed by a two-thirds majority of the NationalAssembly.
This may be hard to attain if partiesbelieve that the process was flawed because of its secrecy.
A recent Daily Dispatch report suggested that theJSCI accepted none of the eight short-listed candidates, and that the committeeintends restarting the process.
If there is a repeat selection process,it is hoped that calls for transparency will be heeded. The JSCI has not commented on the report.
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The M&G Centre for Investigative Journalism (amaBhungane) produced this story. All views are ours. See www.amabhungane.co.za for our stories, activities and funding sources.