South Africa, the region, continent, and the world face unprecedented and widespread political and socio-economic instability. Violent extremism is spreading and is in fact already establishing itself upon our borders and within our country.
Such has been further enabled due to growing poverty and inequality, challenges associated with transitioning towards democratic governance, and the failures of our defence and security sectors to modernise and stay abreast of technical innovation and advancement.
The enemies of our fragile democracy remain within and outside of our borders and be under no illusion, their devious and treasonous objectives are supported by the very best technology and human resource capital that money can buy.
Chairperson, State Security, with its necessary culture of secrecy, has a long and painful history in South Africa. The same question or conundrum always arises: Who will guard the guardians? Who will ensure that our largely unaccountable State Security apparatus is not politicised and weaponised against the very institutions it is established to protect?
Another serious challenge faced by our State Security apparatus is that of information-gathering and ensuring that the information obtained is correct in respect of the current security threats and emerging security trends in Africa. Our focus must not only be on identifying and analysing the correct data, but additionally, in communicating this information to the relevant structures within the JCPS Cluster, thereby ensuring that such critical information is timeously acted upon by government.
Chairperson, the role of Parliament in democratic and civilian Security Sector governance has never been more critical as we advance the security of our citizens. Are we, as parliamentarians, utilising the numerous tools of oversight available to us as legislators, to hold the State Security apparatus to account? Are we scrutinising the budget effectively? Is there even sufficient information available to us to reach into what some might term the ‘pandora’s box’ of secrets and secret expenditure?
Transparency and accountability of State Security to the citizenry – without compromising the nature of the mandate of State Security – must be conducted to ensure that a shadow government with shadow policy is not resourced and capacitated. All Security Branch operators and services are subject to the Constitution, the Rule of Law and should be conducted in the best interests of the safety and security of the people and democracy of South Africa.
Chairperson, State Security has been utilised in the past to perpetrate the most horrific criminal activities upon our own people, for the purposes of control and subjugation of the many, by the few. The game did not change with the end of apartheid, only the players changed.
In conclusion, the IFP supports the Budget Vote, subject to the above serious concerns. We support the establishment and function of a State Security apparatus whose objectives are the safety, security and national interests of the people of South Africa.
I thank you.