“It was quite misleading for the newspaper to report on few children, compared to the size of the enrolment at the [State Security] academy,” spokeswoman Phumla Williams said in a statement.
“All citizens have the constitutional right to apply for any employment, as long as they meet the requirements — even if it is within the public service.”
She said the report by the Sunday Times was mischievous because it insinuated that the agency had become an employment agency for the children of ministers and other high-profile officials due to political nepotism.
“This report actually misleads the public and creates an impression that most of the students attending the academy are the children of politicians. In fact, this faceless report is far from the truth,” Williams said.
The newspaper reported that according to an intelligence document, the children of Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete were hand-picked for the intelligence academy.
An unnamed insider told the publication there was no recruitment process that allowed the agency to choose the best candidates.
The Sunday Times did not respond to a request for comment.