President Cyril Ramaphosa appears to have former State Security Agency (SSA) director general Arthur Fraser’s back, despite the many allegations leveled against the ex-spy boss who the president himself demoted to national commissioner of correctional services in April, TimesSelect has reported.
This came after Fraser was accused of revoking inspector general of intelligence Setlhomamaru Dintwe’s security clearance in an attempt to block him from reporting on his colleague’s alleged corruption.
Fraser was named “the spy who saved Zuma” after an article in the Mail & Guardian alleged that he had leaked the “spy tapes” to Zuma’s lawyers. These tapes led to the dropping of then president Zuma’s corruption charges in 2009.
And, in Jacques Pauw’s damning expose The President’s Keepers, he was accused of heading a project in which half a billion rand in state funds were wasted amid fraud and corruption.
Despite all of this, Ramaphosa says there is no evidence that Fraser is “not of good character” and has justified his decision to move Fraser to another governmental post rather than suspend him.
This comes after the DA filed papers challenging Ramaphosa’s decision to hand Fraser a fresh position rather than discipline him.
“In my view, there was no basis for me to suspend him at that time. He was an incumbent director-general. During his tenure as director-general, he had not faced any charges of misconduct. There was no new allegation of wrongdoing against him,” the president said.
“The inspector general’s investigation was a revisiting of old allegations, which predated Mr Fraser’s appointment as director-general of the SSA, and which had been investigated by the previous inspector-general.”
The president added that it’s only because of the publication and subsequent popularity of Pauw’s book that the allegations against Fraser “resurfaced in the public domain”.
Ramaphosa has taken the position that only new allegations coming to light would have warranted suspension.
“In the absence of such new allegations, it is unreasonable of the DA to expect me to have suspended Mr Fraser from the public service. On the facts available to me, I accepted that Mr Fraser was a fit and proper person to continue serving as the head of the department of correctional services,” he said.