House Chair, may we in the ACDP congratulate the Minister and Deputy Minister on your maiden speech and on your appointment to this very important portfolio. The ACDP participates in this debate without being privy to the confidential briefing given to members of the ad hoc committee on this Budget Vote
So, the closest I get to being a spy is probably that my permit number begins with the numbers 007. [Laughter.] But, I just want to congratulate those members and thank all the members of the Intelligence Service for the work that they have done.
I will make some general comments about what is in the public domain. This Sixth Parliament will be grappling with the legacy of the Zuma administration. It comes up in almost every Budget Vote. Ten years of state capture and corruption resulted in the hollowing out of SA Revenue Service, Sars, and other state entities and widespread looting of state-owned- enterprises, SOEs.
Former President Zuma has protested his innocence before the Zondo Commission, these last few days. He alleges a broad conspiracy against him and accuses his detractors of being apartheid era spies who conspired with national intelligence organisations. That's the organisations represented here to discredit him and even attempted to assassinate him. These are startling and very serious allegations. Surely, a person with that knowledge should lay criminal charges.
However, for those that remember, no less than three former heads of intelligence try to curb the Gupta family's influence.
The High Level Review Panel on the State Security Agency referred to by other speakers made the startling finding that, the failure of the executive to heed the intelligence warning about the threats posed by the influence of a certain family, read Guptas, over
government officials and especially the former President, read Mr Zuma, has cost the country dearly. However, the future of the State Security Agency, SSA, to address state capture could not be considered a significant intelligence failure, as the Minister at the time was made aware of the threat and failed to act on the intelligence at his disposal. This is disgraceful and it's clear. The ACDP believes that it is highly unlikely that if the Minister was aware of this threat that the then President Zuma was also not aware of the threat.
What aggravates the situation is that the warnings were not only ignored, but cost the heads of intelligence their jobs. In addition, as pointed out by other members, the politicisation of the SSA was made worse by Mr Zuma as pointed out by the High Level Review Panel.
This, they said became progressively worse during the administration of the former President, with parallel structures being created that directly served the personal and political interests of the President, and in some cases, the relevant Minister.
The fact remains that the danger presented by the Guptas was highlighted by our intelligence as a threat to national security. They were not acted on. Had they been acted on, state capture and
corruption would have been reduced, if not completely avoided and our country would have been in a much better situation.
So, from our perspective, President Zuma denials before the Zondo Commission ring hollow. We were to believe this evidence. The near collapse of South Africa was primarily due to a decade-long conspiracy targeting one man and not state capture and corruption.
Those of us that sat on the parliamentary SABC and Eskom oversight inquiries in the Fifth Parliament know far better after hearing direct evidence of state capture and corruption.
After having death threats and intimidation against us, we experience that and we have the knowledge and it's recorded in resolutions before Parliament.
So, to conclude, we now know how the state capturers intend to fight back; with a mixture of half-baked conspiracy theories. This, we cannot allow. [Applause.]