Spy boss ‘ducked and dived’

Date: 13 Jun 2007
Former spy boss, Billy Maasetlha, used evasive tactics in his efforts to avoid giving information to the Inspector General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Zolile Ngcakani, NIA Chief Operating Officer Imtiaz Faizel said during his testimony in the Hatfield Community Court yesterday. Maasetlha was facing charges of contravening the Provisional Oversight Act, in allegedly withholding information from Ngcakani. During his testimony, State witness, Faizel said Masetlha and his legal representatives first set down conditions under which he agreed to be interviewed. Masetlha was supposed to furnish the task team set-up by Minister of Intelligence Ronnie Kasrils details about surveillance operations against ANC heavyweight and businessman Saki Macozoma. Macozoma apparently approached Kasrils after he realized he was under surveillance. Faizel said they wanted to find out if any light could be shed on alleged links between Macozoma and foreign intelligence agencies. “Masetlha insisted that he be interviewed in the presence of his lawyers. He also requested access to his NIA office without supervision and an authorization letter from President Mbeki for the interview,” said Faizel. Masetlha’s conditions could not be met due “to security reasons”. After several letters had been sent to the accused, Masetlha went to the Pretoria High Court and applied for the interdict. Ngcakani then decided to agree to the accused’s conditions. Faizel said in the end Masetlha was never interview. By Tshifhiwa Shonisani The Citizen 13/06/07