Open letter to Siyabonga Cwele, Minister of Intelligence about the questionable conduct of the intelligence services: IEC lease agreements from Mr Bantu Holomisa, MP (UDM President) (8 March 2013)

The above mentioned matter has reference.

On the 3rd of October 2011, I wrote a letter to the office of the Public Protector requesting it to investigate suspected irregularities in the lease agreements of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).

Afterwards I had a few meetings with the Public Protector, Advocate Thuli Madonsela to discuss progress. She sensitised us about her workload, but undertook to expedite the process.

While still awaiting feedback from the Public Protector’s office, on the 27th of November 2012, I received an unclassified letter from Ms N.G. Bam, the Acting Director of the Domestic Branch of the State Security Agency of South Africa stating that:

“Pursuant to media reports regarding alleged irregularities at the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), the state Security Agency (SSA) hereby requests a meeting with you to further discuss the matter at your earliest convenience.

The State Security Agency views media reports surrounding the IEC in a serious light hence we request to engage with you.”

I did not respond to Ms Bam’s letter due to reasons outlined below.

Yesterday two officials from your Department, Mr Sello Motaung and Mr Mphuthumi Jekem, visited my office in Pretoria and asked for feedback on Ms Bam’s letter. Unfortunately, I was busy with Parliamentary work at the time of their visit.

This morning I phoned Mr Jekem to follow-up on their visit. He told me that they had discussions with IEC Chairperson, Advocate Pansy Tlakula about my complaint to the Public Protector and are now interested to hear my side of the story. I refused to discuss the matter with him because it is still under investigation.

There is something about this meeting request that does not sit well with me.

Firstly, on what basis does your Department want conduct a parallel investigation? Secondly, if you “view matters surrounding the IEC on a serious light”, why do you not approach the institution that is busy investigating the matter for information?

I am wondering whether this is not a precursor of how Government is going to operate once the Information Bill becomes law.

I therefore call on your office to investigate this questionable conduct.

Yours sincerely,
Bantu Holomisa, MP
UDM President