Dlodlo wants to answer spy claim in secret

State Security Minister Ayanda Dlodlo this week asked to answer behind closed doors in a parliamentary committee whether she had ordered a senior spy to tap a person’s phone illegally.

In terms of the National Assembly (NA) question paper, Dlodlo was on Wednesday supposed to give an oral reply to whether she instructed the State Security Agency’s domestic branch boss, advocate Sam Muofhe, to monitor the communication of a man in September without an order from a judge.

The question was asked by DA’s spokesperson for State Security, Dianne Kohler Barnard, following a fallout between Dlodlo and Muofhe, an ally of President Cyril Ramaphosa.

On Tuesday, the NA’s table procedural adviser, Michael Plaatjies, told the DA that Speaker Thandi Modise had granted Dlodlo’s request to answer the question in the joint standing committee on intelligence (JSCI) – which operates in secrecy and is closed to the media.

“Would you be so kind as to inform Ms Kohler that the speaker has agreed to the request of the minister of state security to refer question 192 to the JSCI as the appropriate forum to deal with oversight matters of a sensitive nature,” Plaatjies told DA’s Ruan van der Walt.

On Friday, Kohler Barnard slammed Dlodlo for wanting to answer behind closed doors.

“She who has been speaking freely to the media refuses to be questioned. It is appalling. This department was allegedly looted of a billion, and the high-level report is utterly scathing of it. It seems this new minister wants to use the ‘secret’ trick to again hide dodgy behaviour,” said Kohler Barnard.

Dlodlo’s spokesperson, Mava Scott, said the department was not at liberty to discuss the issue as it related to sensitive matters.

“The appropriate place to discuss these is the JSCI.”

By George Matlala

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