Former State Security Agency (SSA) Director-General Arthur Fraser has vowed to reveal “secrets” about South Africa’s “past and present” Presidents, his lawyer Muzi Sikhakhane told the state capture commission of inquiry on Monday.
Fraser is set to appear before the inquiry after being implicated in wrongdoing by former spy chiefs Gibson Njenje and Mo Shaik in 2019.
Sikhakhane told the inquiry’s chairperson, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, that Fraser felt compelled to break his oath of secrecy because he had been implicated in treason.
‘Subverting our state’
He said, “Ordinarily, Mr Fraser would have liked to die with the secrets he’s going to have to disclose to these proceedings. But it’s only because he’s been accused of treason that he reluctantly comes here, and he comes here, chair, to complete your picture of this thing called state capture.”
Sikhakhane said Fraser’s testimony would reveal “who exactly is subverting our state” and that these individuals would also include those outside the “administrating arm of government.”
“He will have to complete this by doing something he reluctantly does to tell the chair about things that relates to the President, or the Presidents of this country, past and present, and related to the judges, that relates to the parliamentarians,” Sikhakhane added.
He requested the inquiry to grant Fraser indemnity from prosecution for breaking the oath. However, Zondo said the inquiry is not empowered to grant such a request.
In his testimony, Njenje claimed he had uncovered corruption and fraud relating to SSA’s Principal Agent Network (PAN) in which Fraser, as SSA DG, was allegedly implicated.
Njenje, who was SSA’s head of domestic intelligence at the time, further claimed that former President Jacob Zuma shut down that investigation and another one into the Gupta family.
Transfer from SSA
Fraser now serves as National Commissioner of Correctional Services after President Cyril Ramaphosa transferred him from SSA in April 2018. His transfer followed a legal battle between him and intelligence services Inspector-General Setlhomamaru Dintwe, who had been investigating him.
In May last year, a High Level Review Panel established by Ramaphosa claimed that “criminal behaviour” had taken place at PAN under the pretext of conducting intelligence operations. The 10-member Panel was chaired by former Minister Dr Sydney Mufamadi.
However, Fraser disputed the Panel’s findings. “The HLRP was prejudiced against any facts (or information) that is inconsistent with its preconceived views and pre-determined outcomes,” he claimed.