Sixty-fourth edition of the N&O column / Spooks newsletter

(Date: Thu, 04 Sep 2003 22:23:33 +0200)

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Intelligence profile : South Africa

Background

After the British seized the Cape of Good Hope area in 1806, many of the Dutch settlers (the Boers) trekked north to found their own republics. The discovery of diamonds (1867) and gold (1886) spurred wealth and immigration and intensified the subjugation of the native inhabitants. The Boers resisted British encroachments, but were defeated in the Boer War (1899-1902). The resulting Union of South Africa operated under a policy of apartheid (separate development of the races). The 1990s brought an end to apartheid politically and ushered in black majority rule. The former home countries Ciskei, Transkei, Bophuthatswana and Venda are no longer in existence and are now under one national government.

General

Name : Republic of South Africa / Republiek Suid Afrika
Capital : Pretoria
    note - Cape Town is the legislative center and Bloemfontein the judicial center
South Africa has nine provinces : Eastern Cape, Gauteng, Free State KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, Limpopo (previously Northern Province), North West and Western Cape.

Military branches

Intelligence

Intelligence acts

The members of the current South African intelligence organisations and their powers were layed down in the Intelligence Services Act- Wet op Nasionale Strategiese Intelligensie- (#38, 2 Dec 1994), and in the Amendment to the National Strategic Intelligence Act #39 of 1998), and Act #64 of 1996: the Security Officers Amendment Act.

I have extracted a couple of the most interesting parts of these acts.

Extracts from ACT NO. 38 OF 1994: INTELLIGENCE SERVICES ACT

To regulate the establishment, organisation and control of the National Intelligence Agency and the South African Secret Service; and to provide for matters connected therewith.
CHAPTER II
Establishment, composition and organisation of Agency and Service.
There is hereby established a National Intelligence Agency and a South African Secret Service, which shall consist of:
  1. the persons who, on the date of the commencement of this Act, are members of the Bureau as defined in section I of the Bureau for State Security Act, 1978 (Act No.104 of 1978);
  2. the persons who, on the date of the commencement of this Act, are members of the Department of Intelligence and Security of the African National Congress;

  3. the persons who, on the date of the commencement of this Act are members of the Bophuthatswana Internal Intelligence Service by virtue of their appointment in terms of the Bophuthatswana Internal Intelligence Service Act, 1982 (Act No.25 of 1982), or are appointed in terms of section 15 of the National Security Council Act, 1981 (Act No.27 of 1981), of Bophuthatswana;

  4. the persons who, on the date of the commencement of this Act, are members of the Transkei Intelligence Service by virtue of their appointment in terms of the Intelligence Service and State Security Council Act, 1987 (Act No.67 of 1987), of Transkei;

  5. the persons who, on the date of the commencement of this Act, are members of the Venda National Intelligence Service by virtue of their appointment in terms of the National Intelligence Service Act, 1988 (Act No.31 of 1988), of Venda; the persons who, immediately before the commencement of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1993 (Act No.200 of 1993), were members of any intelligence service or intelligence structure of Venda.

Excerpts from ACT NO.39 OF 1994: NATIONAL STRATEGIC INTELLIGENCE ACT

2.1 The functions of the Agency shall, subject to section 3, be:
  a) to gather, correlate, evaluate and analyse domestic intelligence, in order to:
    1) identify any threat or potential threat to the security of the Republic or its people;
    2) supply intelligence regarding any such threat to Nicoc;
  b) to fulfil the national counter-intelligence responsibilities and for this purpose to conduct and co-ordinate counter-intelligence and to gather, correlate, evaluate, analyse and interpret information regarding counter-intelligence in order to:
    1) identify any threat or potential threat to the security of the Republic or its people;
    2) inform the President of any such threat;
    3) supply (where necessary) intelligence relating to any such threat to the South African Police Service for the purposes of investigating any offence or alleged offence; and
  c) to gather departmental intelligence at the request of any interested department of State, and, without delay to evaluate and transmit such intelligence and any other intelligence at the disposal of the Agency and which constitutes departmental intelligence, to the department concerned.
2.2 It shall, subject to section 3, be the functions of the Service:
  a) to gather, correlate, evaluate and analyse foreign intelligence, excluding foreign military intelligence, in order to:
    1) identify any threat or potential threat to the security of the Republic or its people;
    2) supply intelligence relating to national strategic intelligence to Nicoc;
  b) to institute counter-intelligence measures within the Service; and
  c) to gather departmental intelligence at the request of any interested department of State, and, without delay to evaluate and transmit such intelligence and any other intelligence at the disposal of the Service and which constitutes departmental intelligence, to the department concerned.
2.3 It shall be the function of the South African Police Service, subject to section 3:
  a) to gather, correlate, evaluate and use crime intelligence in support of the functions of the South African Police Service as contemplated in section 215 of the Constitution; and
  b) to institute counter-intelligence measures within the South African Police Service, in order to supply crime intelligence relating to national strategic intelligence to Nicoc.
2.4 The National Defence Force shall, subject to section 3:
  a) gather, correlate, evaluate and use foreign military intelligence, and supply foreign military intelligence relating to national strategic intelligence to Nicoc, but the National Defence Force shall not gather intelligence of a non-military nature in a covert manner;
  b) gather, correlate, evaluate and use domestic military intelligence excluding covert collection, except when employed for service referred to in section 227(1)(e) of the Constitution and under conditions set out in section 3(2) of this Act, and supply such intelligence to Nicoc; and
  c) institute counter-intelligence measures within the National Defence Force.

Intelligence agencies

Ministry for Intelligence Services

The Ministry for Intelligence Services was established on 1 September 1996 and assists the Minister for Intelligence in the supervision and superintendence of the intelligence services; policy formulation; guidance and direction of the transformation process, and the general conduct of intelligence. The National Strategic Intelligence Amendment Act, 1998 (Act 37 of 1998), was approved by the National Council of Provinces in August 1998. In terms of the Act, the Minister would have to ensure effective cooperation between the civilian intelligence services (National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and South African Secret Service (SASS)), the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and the South African Police Services (SAPS), in consultation with the relevant Ministers.

Executive control is exercised by way of a civilian Ministry and a Cabinet committee. The civilian intelligence services are accountable to the Minister of Intelligence, who reports to the Cabinet through the Cabinet Committee for Security and Intelligence Affairs.

Parliament has also appointed a mechanism, the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence (JSCI), legislated in the Intelligence Services Control

Act, 1994 (Act 40 of 1994), which is able to order investigations into the intelligence community’s activities.

National Intelligence Coordinating Committee - NICOC

The NICOC was established on 1 January 1995 in accordance with the National Strategic Intelligence Act, 1994 (Act 39 of 1994).

NICOC consist of the Intelligence Coordinator as well as directors-general of the civilian intelligence bodies - the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and the South African Secret Service (SASS); the Chief of the Intelligence Division of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), and the Head of the Division: Crime Intelligence of the South African Police Services (SAPS).

NICOC is also supported by a staff complement which is responsible for day-to-day coordination.

In terms of the Act, NICOC is required to coordinate intelligence supplied by the members of the national intelligence structures and to produce and disseminate intelligence with regard to matters of national strategic importance. In order to facilitate coordination, NICOC has established Provincial Intelligence Coordination Committees (PICOC's) in the nine provinces and several functional committees.

NICOC's direct clients are the President, the Cabinet and the Cabinet Committee for Security and Intelligence Affairs. Other clients include government departments, Premiers, provincial governments and parliamentary committees.

National Intelligence Agency - NIA

The Intelligence Services Act, 1994 (Act 38 of 1994), resulted in an amalgamation of the following intelligence organisations: National Intelligence Service (NIS), Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), Department of Intelligence and Security (DIS), Pan African Security Service (PASS), the former intelligence services of Transkei, Bophuthatswana and Venda, and the security service of the African National Congress (ANC).

The above mentioned organisations formed the new NIA. The Agency gathers, correlates, evaluates and analyses domestic intelligence to identify threats or potential threats to the security of the Republic or its people, and to supply intelligence regarding any such threat to NICOC.

National counter-intelligence responsibilities include conducting and coordinating counter-intelligence, gathering, correlating, evaluating, analysing and interpreting information regarding counter-intelligence to identify threats or potential threats to the security of South Africa or its people. The Agency supplies intelligence relating to such threats to the South African Police Service for the purposes of investigating any offence or alleged offence.

South African Secret Service - SASS

The SASS is responsible for foreign intelligence. It has sections for counter-intelligence and internal security. The mission of the SASS is to gather, correlate, evaluate and analyse foreign intelligence, excluding foreign military intelligence, in order to identify any threat or potential threat to the security of South Africa and to supply intelligence relating to national strategic intelligence to NICOC. The SASS is also responsible for counter-intelligence measures within the Service.

South African Police Service – SAPS
National Investigation Service - NIS

In 1994 the South African Police (SAP) and 10 former homeland agencies amalgamated and the South African Police Service (SAPS) was formed.

The National Investigation Service is the unit of the SAPS that is charged with conducting and coordinating investigations of counter- intelligence offenses referred to it by the National Intelligence Agency. The NIS also gathers, correlates, evaluates and uses crime intelligence in support of the functions of the SAPS and is responsible for counter-intelligence measures within the SAPS, in order to supply crime intelligence relating to national strategic intelligence to NICOC.

Civilian Secretariat for Safety and Security

The need for a Civilian Secretariat for Safety and Security was identified by the Minister for Safety and Security in 1994. This resulted in the inclusion of a chapter defining the role of the Secretariat in the South African Police Services Act of 1995. The Secretariat immediately took over most of the activities of the Interim Advisory Team on the Amalgamation, Rationalisation and Transformation of the South African Police Service (SAPS), which had been established in May 1994.

The tasks of the Secretariat are:

South African National Defence Force Intelligence Division - SANDF

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) came into being on 27 April 1994. The 1993 Constitution stipulates that the SANDF will be used to defend the country against external and internal threats. The SANDF integrates the former South African Defence Force (SADF) with the military wings of the African National Congress (ANC), Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) and the armies of the former homelands.

The SANDF consists of four arms - the Army, Air Force, Navy and Medical Service. SANDF's Intelligence Division gathers, correlates, evaluates and uses foreign military intelligence, and supplies foreign military intelligence relating to national strategic intelligence to NICOC. It

is also responsible for counter-intelligence measures within the National Defence Force.

Sources

The official websites of the South African Government, SANDF, NIA and SAPS.

Further : Federation of American Scientists (www.fas.org),
    CIA World Factbook,
    Library of Congress Country Studies
    (http://geoinfo.amu.edu.pl/wpk/locsc/cshome.html)

 


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