Police Minister Bheki Cele has been questioned by members of the National Assembly’s portfolio committee regarding National Commissioner Fannie Masemola’s lack of security clearance from the State Security Agency (SSA). Cele stated that he has been requesting the security clearance from the SSA, and even reminded the Minister responsible for SSA, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, at a meeting of the Justice, Crime Prevention, and Security Cluster. However, the minister confirmed that the security clearance expired in 2018. Cele emphasized that the security clearance was not done by the South African Police Service (SAPS) but by the SSA. He also stated that the delay has been on the side of the SSA, and that they are working on changing the process so that SAPS does SSA and vice versa.
Members of the committee expressed their concerns about the sensitive nature of the information Masemola would receive and work on without having top security clearance. They said that it was unacceptable for Masemola to sit in a position that deals with sensitive security issues without the proper security clearance. The committee added that the delay in clearing Masemola could compromise national security issues, and that they would seek legal opinion on the matter.
Andrew Whitfield of the DA expressed his disappointment that the top official in the SAPS is not cleared by SSA, and Pieter Groenewald of the Freedom Front Plus said that Cele would have to go directly to President Cyril Ramaphosa to expedite the process, as they have been waiting for a long time.
Cele denied that they were breaking the law by having Masemola in charge of the SAPS while waiting for his security clearance by the security agency. He explained that there are laws in place that state that SSA must grant the clearance of the national commissioner, and that going against this law would be a violation.
In conclusion, the lack of security clearance of National Commissioner Fannie Masemola has raised serious concerns in Parliament, with Police Minister Bheki Cele being questioned about the delay in obtaining clearance from the State Security Agency (SSA). Cele has stated that the delay has been on the side of the SSA, as he has been requesting the clearance for Masemola, and even reminded the Minister responsible for SSA, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, at a meeting of the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster. The security clearance for Masemola expired in 2018 and the delay in obtaining it is seen as a potential compromise to national security.
Members of the portfolio committee on police have expressed their dissatisfaction with the situation, as Masemola sits in a position where sensitive security issues are discussed, but does not have top security clearance. The committee has stated that it will seek a legal opinion on the matter and has expressed its concern that the delay in Masemola’s clearance compromises national security issues. The delay in Masemola’s clearance has been a long-standing issue and has been ongoing since 2018, which is unacceptable.
Andrew Whitfield of the DA has raised concerns about the perception of the position, with the top official in the SAPS not being cleared by the SSA. Pieter Groenewald, leader of the Freedom Front Plus, has suggested that Cele should approach President Cyril Ramaphosa to expedite the clearance process, as they have been waiting for a long time. Cele has denied that they are breaking the law by having Masemola in charge of the SAPS pending his security clearance by the security agency. He has stated that there are laws in place, and that the clearance must be granted by the SSA.
The situation surrounding Masemola’s security clearance highlights the need for a more efficient and streamlined process for obtaining clearances, particularly for those in positions of power within the government. The delays in obtaining clearance not only impact national security but also the public’s trust in the government’s ability to keep them safe. It is crucial that the clearance process is expedited and made a priority to ensure that those responsible for sensitive security matters have the necessary clearance to do their jobs effectively.
Moving forward, the SAPS and SSA must work together to ensure that the clearance process is more efficient, with clear guidelines and timelines for obtaining clearance. This will prevent delays and potential compromises to national security. The government must also consider a review of the current system and policy around security clearances, to ensure that it is effective and efficient. The security of the country and its citizens must be a top priority, and the delays in obtaining security clearances for those in positions of power must be addressed urgently.
In conclusion, the issue of Masemola’s security clearance has highlighted the need for a more efficient clearance process, particularly for those in positions of power within the government. The government must take urgent action to ensure that clearances are obtained in a timely manner, and that the current system is reviewed and updated to ensure that it is effective and efficient. The security of the country and its citizens must be the government’s top priority, and any delays or compromises to national security must be avoided at all costs.