Cape Town – Parties across the political divide have welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s appointment of Robert McBride as the director of the foreign branch of the State Security Agency.
State Security Minister Ayanda Dlodlo said McBride had been appointed for three years, from July 1 until June 30, 2023.
Dlodlo said McBride brought a wealth of experience to the security services.
“Minister Dlodlo welcomes Mr McBride to his new position and wishes him well for his tenure in the agency.
“She also expresses her sincere thanks to the president for filling this position, which has been vacant for about four years,” read the statement.
She said McBride’s appointment would bring organisational stability to the agency.
“The work to implement the recommendations of the High Level Panel on the State Security Agency is proceeding steadily and this appointment is one of the critical steps towards the journey to rebuild the agency,” she said.
McBride is taking over from Joyce Mashele, who was acting in that position.
DA MP Dianne Kohler Barnard said McBride has now filled a post that has lain dormant for years, while the man who allegedly orchestrated the Spy Tapes saga, Arthur Fraser, headed up the infamous PAN project through which millions were allegedly siphoned through the agency.
“Although McBride had a poor start as head of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, and while much transformation is still needed, he did manage to build it up to become a more credible institution than under his predecessors,” Kohler Barnard said.
She said the High Level Report into the SSA had laid bare the corruption and catastrophic political interference during former president Jacob Zuma’s tenure.
“The DA hopes that McBride will rise above the politics and do the job he and the agency are actually supposed to do,” Kohler Barnard said.
UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said they had noted the appointment. “The onus is on McBride to prove himself given his previous postings, where he was on the wrong side of things.