I am of the view that the security of the State is by far the most important task of Parliament. If we are not safe and security threats are lurking behind every tree and corner undetected, our nation is at risk and would it be totally meaningless whether we have food, clothes, shelter or entertainment in an unsecured environment.
Being the Minister of State Security (MSS) is in fact, so we would believe, a minister on steroids. The MSS must liaise with all other ministries relating to the security of each one and especially to determine which things should be kept secret from the nation and which things should not.
Arguably the MSS could even be the most powerful cabinet member or even more powerful than the President of the country where managing State secrets can be the most valuable asset a country can have.
Knowing the secrets of each Member of Parliament, head of a large corporation or even the President of the United States of America, for example, can definitely have its advantages when the time is right.
Under the “Apartheid” (English: Segregation) regime, one would realise that the Minister of Intelligence (MI), as the MSS was then called, was handpicked and had great influence in policy making and State decisions. But still another minister was the handpicked one of all the handpicked ones…
The MI was also backed by a very capable Director General of Intelligence who could have been the actual State Security Guru where the MI was merely the face.
South Africa now has its third MSS within a period of only four months, after President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed the relatively unknown Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba in this position on Monday night, 27 February 2018.
Would it make any sense to spill all South Africa’s State Security secrets and issues to David Mahlobo, Bongani Bongo and now Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba within such a short space of time? Definitely not.
This is not the first time South Africa changed the MSS within a short period apart. On 24 January 2001 the then President Thabo Mbeki appointed Lindiwe Sisulu after Joe Nhlanhla only held that position from 18 June 1999, only 19 months.
Who actually killed Verwoerd? Did Nelson Mandela die in prison and replaced by a “dubbelganger“? Was the moonlanding fake? The World Trade Center was an inside job, wasn’t it? Imagine the relatively regularly changed MSS knows the answers to all of these, and thousands of other, questions. Don’t you think that that could be a catastrophe?
The position of MSS was not always held in this portfolio. The Nazi’s used the Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels to collect and selectively disseminate information to the German people and was considered to be more powerful than Adolf Hitler himself.
After World War II the establishment of the United Nations demanded that the collection of secrets which could have the effect of disturbing world peace should be the order of the day.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of countries started to become the more favourable State Security organs where the establishment of the Institute of Foreign Relations paved the way where the positions of State Security or Intelligence ministries effectively became obsolete.
During the middle 70’s the young Pik Botha became the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Segregation regime. Botha was known to be more powerful than John Vorster, PW Botha and FW de Klerk he supposedly served under.
The Pik Botha era was also a period in South Africa’s history where there was clearly a clash between military intelligence, State intelligence and foreign relations. It is believed that these three portfolios were in constant power struggles where PW Botha had a close link with military intelligence while the era of double agents also started to make its appearance.
Between 1927 and 1955 the position of Minister of Foreign Affairs was also held by the respective Prime Ministers of those times, clearly making that the most important position after that of the head of cabinet which he also held.
In the first Democratic cabinet, Alfred Nzo, who was the longest serving Secretary General of the ANC, held the position of Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The unrealistic constant changes of our MSS proved to us that the Department of State Security is just a decoy for something else. While our eyes are focused on this ministry where our secrets are collected, kept and managed, the actual State Security is run from the Department of International Relations and Cooperation today.
It would make more sense if someone in a senior capacity like Alfred Nzo and later Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma are the Ministers of International Relations where DZ also held the most senior position on the continent as the Chairperson of the African Union too.
Interestingly Ramaphosa appointed Sisulu as the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation in his reshuffle of the cabinet on 27 February 2018, after she as an ANC stalwart also served as Minister of State Security in the Mbeki cabinet.
I am sure that the MSS is a hoax. Yes, this department surely is doing something, but preventing that our (and the world) secrets are kept safe from the always inquisitive citizens who would surely revolt if ever it is confirmed that Mandela died during 1980’s as conspiracy theorists believe, is definitely not one of its functions anymore. What goes for us, also is applicable on other countries as well.
With naming secret agents left, right and centre the past few years as Agent 3456 and Agent that in our media, is just another example of how “unsecret” this ministry really is. What is the use of “secret agents” if they are openly named where even our previous Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, was (or still is) allegedly a CIA agent of note…