Concerns about instability at the State Security Agency (SSA) have led to the agency’s lack of a head of domestic intelligence.
According to News24, advocate Mahlodi Sam Muofhe resigned from his position as SSA’s domestic head on Friday.
Mava Scott, an SSA spokesperson, confirmed this to News24, saying Muofhe’s contract expired at the end of July.
“Advocate Muofhe’s contract ended on 31 July 2021,” said Scott, adding the process to fill his position had commenced.
Muofhe confirmed he retired last Friday after he reached the retirement age of 65.
He thanked President Cyril Ramaphosa, State Security Minister Ayanda Dlodlo and Deputy State Security Minister Zizi Kodwa for affording him the “space to independently run the organisation”.
Muofhe also took the opportunity to wish all the members of the SSA good luck.
He called on them to fulfill their duties within the “confines of the law”, saying the SSA had in the past been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Muofhe added when he joined the SSA there was only one senior permanent position that had been filled, but he “now leaves the SSA with all senior deputy director-general positions being filled”.
I arrived there on my own and I left there with a family.
Scott said plans were afoot to fill the now vacant domestic head positions and noted the appointment of SSA directors was, however, the president’s prerogative.
An interim head has not yet been appointed to Muofhe’s position, raising concerns among the country’s top spooks.
His departure coincides with the suspension of SSA Director of Foreign Intelligence Robert McBride.
McBride was suspended last month following a diplomatic blunder earlier this year when South African spies became stranded during a botched operation in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado.
The agency also lacks a permanent director-general, with Ambassador Gab Msimanga serving in that capacity.
The SSA’s role was brought into sharp focus last month amid claims of intelligence failures in quelling the violent unrest that claimed the lives of over 300 people.