OPEN LETTER to Home Affairs Portfolio Committee Chairperson
21 November 2000)

To: Mr Mokoena, MP - Chairman Portfolio Committee Home Affairs


Following reports over the weekend regarding a National Intelligence Agency investigation called for by the CEO of the IEC, Mr Mandla Mchunu, I request an urgent meeting of the portfolio committee to discuss the issue.

I believe that the IEC management owes the Members an explanation on what is happening within the IEC that motivated Mr Mchunu to ask for an investigation of some of its staff by the National Intelligence Agency. I further have reason to believe that the involvement of NIA in this matter might fall outside the mandate of NIA.

The involvement of the state intelligence machinery in any election, in whatever capacity, is alarming and cast doubt over the legitimacy of the election process. I believe that it is the responsibility of the Committee to get a briefing from the IEC and to determine whether there is any reason for concern and in the process aim to reconfirm confidence in the election process and the institution responsible to run the election.

Should the IEC convince us that an investigation into this matter is indeed required, then a further explanation regarding the proposed involvement of NIA, as opposed to the public protector, is required.

If we fail to do so we would fail in addressing what is obviously a matter of national interest and would play our part in contributing towards the "cloak and dagger" suspicions surrounding the IEC, which has been raised by Mr Mchunu. I strongly believe that elections should be transparent and open to the scrutiny of the public and to us, their Public Representatives in this regard. For the sake of one of our most basic and hard-fought for rights, we must prevent the election process from descending into the murky depths of the intelligence community, who by their nature employ conduct that is completely the opposite of transparency.

For your convenience I attach a copy of the relevant article

Your urgent attention to my request would be appreciated.

Member Portfolio Committee Home Affairs
United Democratic Movement
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