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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Report Says Ministers Informed on ANC

JOHANNESBURG -- A South African weekly newspaper said Friday at least one current cabinet minister and a deputy minister were alleged to have informed on the ANC to military intelligence during the apartheid era. The report in the Weekly Mail and Guardian is the latest twist in a battle with the Defense Ministry over the release of names of former military intelligence agents in the country. The newspaper said a fight was on between new Defense Minister Joe Modise, former head of the military wing of the African National Congress, and white generals for control of the South African National Defense Force headed by General Georg Meiring. It said military intelligence had successfully infiltrated Nelson Mandela's ANC while the movement was banned during apartheid, in order to gather information for the white minority government. Modise became defense minister after the ANC won the country's historic all-race elections in April and Mandela formed a three-party government of national unity. "The South African intelligence operation was allegedly so successful that at least one cabinet minister and one deputy in the present government are alleged to have been South African informants," it said. The newspaper said it was aware of the "alleged identities of the two" but would not publish their names "without conclusive proof of any collusion with the apartheid authorities." It said that defense chief Georg Meiring had persuaded Modise to seek a court interdict last week to prevent the newspaper publishing names by warning the minister of major political damage to the government and the ANC if the names of top-ranking "moles" were revealed. The Weekly Mail on Friday published the names of 10 people it said were still members of the Directorate of Covert Collection, the Defense Force"s shadowy undercover intelligence-gathering organization. It printed the names of 26 others it said had worked for Directorate. The Goldstone commission, set up by the previous white minority government of former president F.W. de Klerk to probe causes of violence in South Africa, staged a surprise raid on Directorate offices in Pretoria in 1992. De Klerk suspended a number of intelligence officers amid allegations of a dirty-tricks campaign against the ANC and other liberation movements, and ordered a top-level investigation. The results of the investigation have never been published and no-one so far has been charged with illegal actions. The newspaper said a group of 23 former Directorate agents who had been employed by a civilian front organization, Pan Afrika Industrial Investment Consultants, were appealing to President Mandela to clear their names. The Defense Force's acting chief of staff for intelligence, General Dirk Verbeck, told a local media briefing Thursday the Directorate had decided in January 1993 to close down its civilian front companies. He said the Defense Force might consider legal action against former Directorate members who he said were trying to pressure the organization through "actions and threats."