S. African president urged to cleanse intelligence agency for factional fighting

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-12 10:16:03|Editor: Xiaoxia
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CAPE TOWN, March 11 (Xinhua) -- South Africa's largest union federation on Monday urged President Cyril Ramaphosa to cleanse the country's intelligence agency for its alleged involvement in factional strife within the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

The appeal came after a bombshell report, published on Sunday by Ramaphosa's office, disclosing details of how the State Security Agency (SSA) was used by former President Jacob Zuma during his nine-year rule to deal with political battles and serve his political interests within the ANC.

According to the report by a high-level review panel into the SSA, the agency has been hampered by political malpurposing and factionalism over the past decade or more, resulting in its "almost complete disregard for the Constitution, policy, legislation and other prescripts."

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) has noted the report "with deep concern," spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said, calling on the president to "act against all those who are implicated in this report and also work to cleanse the SSA of these rogue elements."

COSATU is against any use of state apparatus against private citizens and civil society organizations for political purposes, the spokesperson said.

In his response to the accusation on Twitter, Zuma said on Sunday that he had never been asked any questions by the panel and hoped people were "not opening a can of worms which they might regret."

Ramaphosa appointed the high-level panel in 2018 to review the intelligence service. In the report, the panel also identifies challenges confronting the SSA, such as low staff morale, unprofessional conduct, leadership instability and weak governance.

Ramaphosa took office in February 2018 following the resignation of Zuma, who was faced with growing pressure from both the ANC and opposition parties mainly due to alleged corruptions and the country's poor economic performance.