Last year the July Unrest left South Africa reeling as outraged citizens took to the streets to vent their frustrations. Provinces were left in tatters, livelihoods ruined and over 300 people died. Now Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele believes it could happen again.
GUNGUBELE SAYS SA RACING A TICKING TIME BOMB
Gungubele, as head of the State Security Agency (SSA), tabled the entity’s budget on Tuesday for parliament.
He says unemployment, inequality, poverty and corruption were the underlying causes of some of the crimes South Africa is enduring.
Systemic issues that he believes if not adequately countered are a threat to national security and could lead to the kind of civil unrest seen in July last year.
“The marauding gangs in areas like the Cape Flats and parts of KwaZulu-Natal, Gqeberha, who terrorise communities and carry out assassinations of individuals, the uncontrolled influx of illegal immigrants which often leads to violent clashes with locals because of competition for resources, the wanton destruction of critical economic infrastructure and the general lawlessness across the length and breadth of our country, all constitute the ticking time bomb that we must never allow to discharge,”says Gungubele.
CONTROVERSY MIRED SSA TO BE RESTRUCTURED
Over the years the SSA’s skeletons have been exhumed for all to see from testimonies made at the Zondo Commission about how it was captured to the damning findings by Sydney Mufamadi’s High-Level Review Panel in 2019. However, the most recent revelations of shortcomings against spy boss Gungubele and the SSA came in the form of an expert panel on last year’s July unrest.
Now the SSA sit undermined and untrusted, but Gungubele says they are implementing the recommended changes albeit at a slow pace.
Gungubele revealed on Tuesday that the SSA is focusing on plans to strengthen its capacity to deliver on its mandate by re-skilling and re-energising its workforce to better deliver services as well as reposition the SSA to be a trusted custodian of national security.
He added that it would transform from a state-focused to a national and people-centric enterprise.