President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that the minister in the presidency Mondli Gungubele will assume political responsibility for the control and direction of the State Security Agency.
This is in line with an August 2021 announcement that the Ministry of State Security would officially be scrapped with and political responsibility for the State Security Agency would now reside in the Presidency.
“Section 209(2) of the Constitution, which addresses the governance of intelligence services, empowers the president to assume political responsibility for intelligence services other than those of the police or national defence force, or to designate a member of Cabinet to assume this responsibility,” the presidency said in a statement on Monday (17 January).
“The president has assigned responsibility for the State Security Agency to minister Gungubele, who is a Cabinet member, while deputy Minister Zizi Kodwa continues to serve as deputy minister.”
While analysts have said that this move raises the spectre of a ‘super-presidency’, it is a gamble Ramaphosa is willing to take after the assault on the state, likely to have been orchestrated by a faction of the governing party in July.
Former state security minister Ayanda Dlodlo came under intense scrutiny for failing to adequately deal with the July riots in KZN and Gauteng which saw billions of rand worth of damage done to both state and private property.
President @CyrilRamaphosa has, in terms of Section 209(2) of the Constitution, designated Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele to assume political responsibility for the control and direction of the State Security Agency.
— Presidency | South Africa 🇿🇦 (@PresidencyZA) January 17, 2022