The DA wants an investigation into allegations by some of the SABC 8 journalists during the SABC Inquiry last year, that the State Security Agency (SSA) put unauthorised taps on their phones
After the public and the SABC Inquiry ad hoc committee was told of phone tapping as one of the methods of harassment suffered by the SABC 8, the DA wrote a Parliamentary question this month, asking the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Michael Masutha, whether Former Constitutional Court Judge Yvonne Mokgoro has given the SSA the authority to do so.
In a reply to the DA, Masutha revealed that Judge Mokgoro “had not to the best of her recollection authorised the State Security Agency to intercept the communications of any individuals said to be working for the South African Broadcasting Corporation” in the 2014-15 and 2015-16 financial years and since 1st April 2016″.
“If Judge Mokgoro did not authorise the alleged tapping, it is possible that it was done without authorisation, which is a criminal offence and must be treated with the seriousness it deserves,” the DA’s Mike Waters said in a statement.
“The tapping of phones is in violation of section 14 of the Constitution that states, ‘Everyone has the right to privacy, which includes the right not to have the privacy of their communications infringed'”, he said.
The DA said that if it’s found that the SSA did unlawfully monitor and intercept the communications of SABC employees, they must be held to account.
“Press freedom is a cornerstone of our democracy and we simply cannot have a situation where journalists are working in an atmosphere of fear and intimidation,” Waters said.