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Ramaphosa promises fresh faces at state security agencies after report on deadly July riots

President Cyril Ramaphosa says he will soon announce changes to the leadership of security agencies in response to the report on the July unrest.

This comes after a report by a task team panel found that Ramaphosa’s cabinet was largely to blame for the violence, as it had failed to prevent and manage the unrest which saw looting and torching of businesses as well as the deaths of more than 300 people.

Ramaphosa said during his state of the nation address on Thursday night that there would soon be an announcement on changes to the leadership of security agencies.

“We will, as recommended by the panel, develop and drive a national response plan to address the weaknesses that the panel has identified. We will begin immediately by filling critical vacancies and addressing positions affected by suspensions in the State Security Agency and Crime Intelligence. We will soon be announcing leadership changes in a number of security agencies to strengthen our security structures,” he said.

Since the unrest, Ramaphosa has made a few critical changes to his security cluster, which included the removals of defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and state security minister Ayanda Dlodlo.

Instead of replacing Dlodlo, Ramaphosa moved the entire state security agency to his office and later announced that it will be headed by the minister in the presidency Mondli Gungubele.

He said the government had accepted blame, and that the imminent changes to the leadership of security agencies will address the recommendations by the expert panel.

Ramaphosa threw his weight behind the National Prosecuting Authority during the state of the nation address on Thursday, saying that he was confident the organisation would prosecute state capture corruption.

This comes after the Zondo commission recommended in its report that the NPA further investigates corruption it uncovered with the intention to prosecute perpetrators.

This recommendation by the commission received a lot of backlash, with many South Africans expressing dismay that millions were spent on the commission only for it to call for further investigations.

Many individuals and companies that the commission has found were responsible for state capture must now be held accountable.

President Cyril Ramaphosa

“Many individuals and companies that the commission has found were responsible for state capture must now be held accountable. I have every confidence that the NPA will carry out the further investigations that the commission has recommended and that it will bring the members of the criminal network that infiltrated the government and captured the state swiftly to justice,” Ramaphosa said.

“Now the Investigating Directorate in the NPA is poised to deliver on its crucial mandate and a dedicated team has been established to pursue these cases.”

Ramaphosa will also announce a new head of the Investigating Directorate of the NPA after the resignation of Hermoine Cronje.

Investigators who worked at the state capture commission will be [absorbed] into the NPA to assist it in making the recommended further probes.

“An amendment to the state capture commission regulations in June 2020 empowered the sharing of information between the commission and the law-enforcement agencies. This amendment also permitted the employment of the state capture personnel by law- enforcement agencies,” Ramaphosa said.

“Now these empowering provisions have geared the Investigating Directorate to more effectively pursue investigations emanating from the commission.”

TimesLIVE

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