State Security Agency (South Africa)
|Jurisdiction||Government of South Africa|
Musanda Complex, Delmas Road, Pretoria|
25°51′02″S 28°18′24″E / 25.85056°S 28.30667°E
|Annual budget||R4,308.3 million|
The State Security Agency is the department of the South African government with overall responsibility for civilian intelligence operations. It was created in October 2009 to incorporate the formerly-separate National Intelligence Agency, South African Secret Service, South African National Academy of Intelligence, National Communications Centre and COMSEC (South Africa).
Political responsibility for the agency lies with the Minister of State Security; as of 2014 this is David Mahlobo. The agency is headed by a Director-General; as of 2016 this is Arthur Fraser. In the 2010/11 national budget, the secret services received a total transfer of 3,052.2 million rand. For the 2015/16 national budget, the secret services will received a total transfer of 4,308.3 million rand.
The following people have held the position of Director-General since the restructure of the South African intelligence services in 2009:
- 2009–2011 Mzuvukile Jeff Maqetuka
- 2011–2013 Dennis Thokozani Dlomo (acting DG)
- 2013 – 2016 Sonto Kudjoe
- 2016 – Arthur Fraser
The following agencies make up the State Security Agency:
- National Intelligence Agency - now known as the Domestic branch
- South African Secret Service - now known as the Foreign branch
- National Communications Centre (NCC)
- COMSEC (South Africa) (Electronic Communications Security (Pty) Ltd)
- Office for Interception Centres (OIC)
- South African National Academy of Intelligence (SANAI)
- Intelligence Services Council on Conditions of Employment (ISC)
The Changing Security Paradigm
The focus on state security is significant and is best understood in the context of the evolution of South African politics since 1961. During the Vorster Regime, state security was seen to be paramount by virtue of the fact that the state was the referent object simply because it represented an ethnic minority and was thus contested. The referent object is that which needs to be secured. This gave rise to the Bureau of State Security (BOSS), which came to an end after the Info Scandal involving the use of secret funds and covert capabilities to manipulate public opinion via the media. Emerging from this was the PW Botha regime, which saw the rise of the State Security Council as the premier decision-making organ. This was hawkish and favored the military. The emergence of paramilitary police units was a direct result of this. While this process was unfolding, the National Intelligence Service (NIS) was created but remained in the shadow under the leadership of Dr Niel Barnard. Central to the creation of the NIS was the burning question about what the referent object is and how it should be secured. Within the NIS the view was that the only way to secure the state was to create a legitimate government representative of the majority of the citizens. This discourse was known as "National Security" and the focus of security was the nation. The idea being that if the nation is secured, then a legitimate government would emerge so state security would become irrelevant as a concept. When the FW de Klerk Regime took over, it inherited a security force in crisis arising from the actions of the paramilitary police. This created space for the National Security discourse to take its rightful place in underpinning the transition to democracy by creating the climate for negotiations to end the Armed Struggle. This saw the concept of "national security" dominate the intelligence community, at least during the transition to democracy and the decade thereafter. It was only when the state started to perceive that it was under threat, that the old thinking about "state security" again emerged. This drove the creation of the SSA (with the security of the state as its primary objective) out of the remnants of what had evolved from the NIS (with the security of the nation as its primary objective.
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