Phone tapping not a surprise


An expert on counter-terrorism has said that the tapping of South African cellphones to monitor certain originations, is no big surprise as this is the mandate of spies.

Speaking in an interview with News24, Institute for Security Studies’ Managing Director, Anton du Plessis, said he is not surprised by the recent revelations after news agency, Al Jazeera, yesterday announced that it had obtained leaked South African Intelligence documents which shows that Israeli spies were monitoring South African’s phone calls.

“I am not surprised about the spying on Greenpeace, or any other agency. We know that is what intelligence agents do. [The] same [goes] for the tapping of phones. This is what spies do,” he is quoted as saying.

According to CityPress, the documents, dating back as far as 2009, also reveals a plot to sell blueprints of stolen weapon plans from Denel, the seizure of arms in the United Arab Emirates on-route from North Korea to Iran, Britain’s MI6 monitoring Iranian spy activity in South Africa, and, in the most recent leak, a complot to assassinate current African Union Chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, shortly after her election in 2012.

In a statement, Democratic Alliance (DA) Shadow Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, David Maynier, said that the Chairperson of the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence, Connie September, should call an urgent briefing on the document’s reveal.

“These documents provide the first insights we have into the “inner workings” of the State Security Agency,” Maynier said.

“We have never come this close to seeing inside the bottom-drawers of the State Security Agency. It’s early days but Al Jazeera’s “spy cable” expose is likely to be the cause of considerable embarrassment to the State Security Agency.”

No comment by Government or State Security has yet been made.