Deputy Minister in the Presidency in charge of State Security Agency (SSA), Zizi Kodwa, has distanced SSA from “wild allegations” that ANC MP Xiaomei Havard could be spying for China.
News24 made the claim in an article published on Wednesday (1 September), citing a “leaked” SSA report. According to the publication, the report claimed there is a “high likelihood” that Havard could be sharing classified information about South Africa with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
In a statement later on Wednesday, Kodwa said, “The agency disassociates itself from this malicious falsehood perpetuated through the media platform to advance the ulterior motives of discrediting and undermining the integrity of the Agency.”
According to Kodwa, SSA is aware of “escalating information peddling by both unscrupulous members and external subversive forces who are deliberately and intensely peddling false information through disinformation and misinformation in order to harm the integrity of the Agency.”
“We therefore condemn with the contempt it deserves the attack on the integrity of Ms Havard and the malicious portrayal of the Chinese government as hostile to South Africa’s national security,” the Deputy Minister added.
“Ms Havard, like any other South African, is entitled to the rights contained in our Bill of Rights as enshrined in the Constitution.”
‘I am not a spy’ – Xiaomei Havard
“There are several mafias who have been sabotaging me for over five years. They plotted the distorted story, linked with several media. I am not a spy,” she said.
“I never engage any spy allegations. Only God is with me, behind me. God will punish all these mafias and their stories [and] put the evil to hell. I’ve had enough, have to take legal action against the evil.”
The ANC’s Chief Whip in Parliament, Pemmy Majodina, declined to comment on the claims, saying her office does not have the “investigative capabilities to deal with such matters.”
The China-born Havard, 55, is a longstanding member of the ANC. She recently claimed she had made donations to the party over the years totalling around R2 million to 4 million.
The ANC defended her appointment as an MP, saying she holds South African citizenship and fulfils all the requirements in law.