Editorials 16.4.2014 08:00 am

Not intelligent intelligence

The continued crisis within the police’s crime intelligence, a very powerful structure, is deeply concerning.

This week Parliament’s joint standing committee on intelligence warned against instability within the unit, saying this has led to the low morale among staff members. The committee said in its annual report the changing of heads of the unit was not good for stability. The unit has, over the years, had three different bosses, including controversial Richard Mdluli, who is battling suspension in court.

The problem with police crime intelligence is that it has its priorities totally wrong. Instead of concentrating on its core mandate of being the government’s eyes and ears to obtain information which could be seen as a threat to government, the unit is caught up in factional battles of the ruling party.

The crime intelligence unit and the country’s other intelligence services are totally focused on monitoring threats against Jacob Zuma and not the country. There have been reports recently of national intelligence operatives being used in vetting candidates for the ANC’s elections lists. It was also reported how the public broadcaster’s employees were being monitored by intelligence services.

The use of the intelligence services to fight political battles has reached such alarming proportions it now poses the single biggest threat to the country’s stability.

 

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