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Holomisa, Malema, Mkhwebane use fake 'intelligence report' to push false 'judicial corruption' claims


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Holomisa, Malema, Mkhwebane use fake 'intelligence report' to push false 'judicial corruption' claims

United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa
United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa

29th November 2023

By: News24Wire


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The State Security Agency (SSA) has distanced itself from a so-called "intelligence report" on alleged judicial corruption.

This as a well-known Aids denialist confirmed he was the document's author and said he had engaged with Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe over certain of its claims.


"The State Security Agency [SSA] has noted with concern a document that is doing the rounds on social media purporting to be some intelligence report on judicial corruption, which is allegedly written by the director-general, Ambassador Thembisile Majola," the SSA said in a media statement on Tuesday afternoon.

"The State Security Agency would like to distance itself and the director-general from such a report."


Hours earlier, the Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence (OIGI) confirmed the same report was not the product of any state intelligence investigations.

OIGI legal advisor advocate Jay Govender told News24 on Tuesday:

Our preliminary investigation indicates that the report is not an official product of the State Security Agency or any of the intelligence services overseen by the Inspector-General of Intelligence.

Instead, the 54-page report - which United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa had incorrectly claimed was "purportedly drafted by Ms Thembisile Majola, the recently resigned director-general of the State Security Agency" - was written by Anthony Brink, an advocate who has waged a litigious war against Legal Aid South Africa over its decision not to employ him.

This is made apparent by a footnote on the last page of the report, which stated it was "an updated, slightly abridged, and trivially edited version [November 2023] of the original document couriered earlier in the year to State Security Agency director-general Thembisile Majola and then to Minister in the Presidency for State Security Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, both of whom ignored it".

"The author's contact particulars are provided at," the footnote stated - in reference to one of the websites run by Brink.

In response to queries from News24 about his authorship of the report, Brink said Holomisa had "missed that the report is a 'specimen draft', as indicated in the footers on the first and last pages".

In other words, it is not a finalised document from an established intelligence source, which makes the ease with which it was widely shared on social media particularly jarring.

While anonymous fake intelligence reports have previously been used by then-president Jacob Zuma to fuel his antipathy towards the National Treasury, as well to justify his axing of then-finance minister Pravin Gordhan, Brink has not sought to conceal his authorship of this draft document - or the personal ire that has fuelled it.

On his "corrupt judges" website, Brink accuses Judge President Dunstan Mlambo, the former chairperson of Legal Aid, of criminality linked to his non-hiring in 2009 and the litigation that followed it - all of which he lost.

He told News24 that Hlophe, who is currently facing a removal vote in Parliament after being found guilty of gross misconduct, had phoned him and "directly confirmed" claims from two unnamed sources about Mlambo, which he repeated in his draft "intelligence report".

According to Brink, Hlophe told him he had objected to the appointment of a female lawyer as part of the tribunal that would try him for gross misconduct on the basis of her alleged inappropriate relationship with Mlambo.

News24's attempts to verify this with Hlophe have proved unsuccessful.

In an affidavit filed in his litigation to overturn the Judicial Service Commission's (JSC) finding of gross misconduct against him, Hlophe had admitted having been in contact with Brink.

He stated through Brink, it had come to his attention a "serious complaint" was lodged against Mlambo about "his alleged involvement in lobbying" to have the aforementioned female lawyer assigned to the Judicial Conduct Tribunal which investigated the complaint against him.

Brink's report further seeks to revive unsubstantiated and later withdrawn claims made against Mlambo in his JSC interview for the position of Chief Justice, where he was accused of sexual misconduct against two women judges - without any complaint being made or evidence presented against him.

Queries by News24 revealed the two judges, whose names were known to us, had in fact asked Mlambo for help in dealing with a predatory judge in his division - which he duly provided.

In this context, the Helen Suzman Foundation's Nicole Fritz said the apparent effort to revive the sexual misconduct claims against Mlambo were "ridiculous".

"I've just skimmed it, but it seems an almost farcical attempt to smear Mlambo and revive the nonsense allegations made at the Judicial Service Commission," she said.

The draft "intelligence report" also reveals Brink believed almost all the judges who had ruled against him in his various cases against Legal Aid and gross misconduct complaints against Mlambo were corrupt, or part of a "cover up".

A Durban Labour Court ruling revealed Brink had argued he was not appointed to the position of senior litigator at Legal Aid in Pietermaritzburg because he was being discriminated against for his "widely reviled" dissident views on HIV/Aids.

Those views saw the Guardian slamming Brink as "the man who is credited with introducing Mbeki to HIV denialism, who has helped cost the lives of tens of thousands of people needlessly deprived of effective treatments".

Ultimately, the Labour Court found Brink had failed to prove his recruitment process was cut short because of his views on Aids - and dismissed his unfair discrimination claim in 2014.

Years later, Brink continues to claim there is a judicial corruption conspiracy against him, which he seems to argue is evidenced by the fact multiple courts have ruled against him.

He is also gravely unhappy that the JSC has not supported his calls for Mlambo and certain of the judges who have ruled against him to face impeachment investigations.

Appearing to write on behalf of the SSA, he has now elevated that unhappiness to the status of a potentially mortal threat to South Africa's democracy and its national credibility.

"The state faces an imminent threat of massive damage to its international and local reputation as regards the integrity of its judiciary, and the State Security Agency [SSA] accordingly recommends immediate intervention to avert it," his draft report begins.

Those claims have clearly grabbed the interest of certain opposition politicians.

On Monday, Holomisa wrote to African National Congress MP Jerome Maake, the chairperson of Parliament's intelligence watchdog committee, the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence (JSCI), and told him he had "recently anonymously received" the 54-page "intelligence report" and believed it should be investigated.

"It contains highly shocking and damaging assertions that could affect the local and international integrity and reputations of the South Africa judiciary and several prominent judges, as well as have implications for the Judicial Conduct Committee and Legal Aid South Africa," wrote Holomisa.

He also stated that given the length and level of detail of the report, it struck him as having been made "of a considered mind" and the information should be deemed of national importance.

Holomisa asked the JSCI to establish "its veracity" with Majola and the IGI and it "considers the content with the seriousness it deserves".

When News24 contacted the UDM leader on Tuesday, he was "not interested" in verifying whether the document he received anonymously and the one in News24's possession - which are both 54-pages long - were the same.

When the final page's footnote, which indicates the document was actually drafted by Brink, was put to him, Holomisa appeared unaware.

However, he said that was why he referred it to the JSCI so it could investigate the source of the allegations, as well as the allegations themselves.

Holomisa added that was why he stated in his letter to the JSCI it was "purportedly" drafted by Majola.

"I didn't know what else there was to do."

Asked if he is concerned these as-yet unsubstantiated allegations of corruption against the judiciary were now in the public domain, without their veracity being questioned, Holomisa said: "I don't care a damn, I didn't publish it. Whoever has written it, the intelligence committee must verify."

He added that the JSCI must also verify the allegations contained in the document.

"At face value it looks serious," said Holomisa, who added that whoever wrote the document appeared to have a good grasp of the matters they were ventilating.

He later added the key question about the report was whether whoever had written it "is telling the truth".

In addition to targeting Mlambo, Brink's report also takes aim at Chief Justice Raymond Zondo over the State Capture Inquiry investigations, repeating accusations by ex-Eskom CEO Matshela Koko that Zondo did not properly investigate his counter accusations of corruption against the Ramaphosa administration.

Koko is currently pursuing litigation to challenge the findings made against him.

On Monday afternoon, Holomisa posted his letter demanding an investigation into the claims made in Brink's report on X, and some politicians and other social media users soon latched onto it.

Several cast aspersions on the judiciary.

That post was retweeted by Areta leader Carl Niehaus and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MP Busisiwe Mkhwebane whose husband, David Skosana, tweeted several pages of the report.

EFF leader Julius Malema retweeted a post on X from user H.M Smith, which stated: "Judge President Basheer Waglay and Judge President Dunstan Mlambo are also implicated in the judicial corruption scandal alongside Chief Justice Raymond Zondo."

The post also included a page from the report and in another post related to the report, H.M. Smith stated: "Again, this proves that the 'State Capture' commission was a witch hunt."

None of these tweets reflected that the report in question had not, in fact, been authored by the SSA.


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