SA’s new spy chief Arthur Fraser: helped Zuma wriggle off corruption hook, say some

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Arthur Fraser, new Director General and Accounting Officer of State Security Agency.

President Jacob Zuma has appointed a man who allegedly helped him wriggle out of corruption charges as the country’s spy chief. The Ministry of State Security has announced that Arthur Fraser is South Africa’s new Director General and Accounting Officer of the State Security Agency. In a media statement, the ministry says that Fraser has extensive experience in the intelligence community. It describes him as having “astute managerial experience”.  While Fraser has largely kept out of the limelight, allegations surfaced in 2009 in the Mail & Guardian that he was the person who handed over to Zuma recordings of conversations used to withdraw corruption charges against the president. The HeraldLIVE reports that in late April 2016‚ however‚ the High Court in Pretoria set aside the prosecuting authority’s decision to drop corruption charges against Zuma. “Current National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Shaun Abrahams has the responsibility of deciding whether to proceed with a prosecution,” it said. Zuma’s decision to appoint a lackey to this powerful post in the country’s intelligence community comes as outgoing Public Protector Thuli Madonsela wraps up investigations into Zuma and other cabinet ministers following allegations of state capture and other irregularities. The appointment of the man once dubbed “the spy who saved Zuma” looks alarmingly like a move by the president to hobble another powerful state organ for self-preservation. – Jackie Cameron

Statement from Ministry of State Security

The Ministry of State Security wishes to announce the appointment of Mr Arthur Fraser as the new Director General and Accounting Officer of the State Security Agency (SSA) with effect from today, 26 September 2016. The appointment was made by President of the Republic of South Africa, in terms of the constitution and relevant legislation.

Mr Fraser is not new in the intelligence community, having served in various operational capacities that culminated in his appointment as the DDG: Operations in the former National Intelligence Agency (NIA). He also served as a DDG in the Department of Home Affairs responsible for Immigration Services. He brings with him immense understanding and knowledge of the intelligence environment and his astute managerial experience which will help move the organization forward.

Making the announcement, Minister Mahlobo expressed full confidence in Mr Fraser. “We believe Mr. Fraser is equal to the task and will provide the necessary leadership that will ensure the Agency is able to deliver on its constitutional and legal mandate of upholding national security” he said.

Mr Fraser appreciated the confidence shown in him and committed to working with the Ministry and the entire membership of the Agency to deliver on the mandate.