Moe Shaik: The Spy Who Went Back To The Cold
Embattled spy boss Moe Shaik packed his bags this week and left the State Security Agency (SSA) – apparently for another top job in government.
Shaik, who was the director of foreign intelligence at the SSA, confirmed to Media24 Investigations that Thursday “was my last day at work”, but refused to give reasons for his resignation.
He would also not comment on talk that he hds landed a top position at another parastatal in which the names of Armscor and the Development Bank of Southern Africa have been mentioned.
Shaik is the last of South Africa’s three top intelligence bosses to leave the agency after a protracted battle and fall-out with State Security minister Siyabonga Cwele.
His decision to leave follows the resignation of SSA Director-General Jeff Maqetuka in December and the head of the domestic branch, Gibson Njenje, in September.
All three have clashed with Cwele, allegedly over his request to place several senior ANC leaders under surveillance and intercept their communications.
Shaik, director of the foreign branch, has allegedly written a lengthy analysis of Cwele’s ‘political hijacking’ of the SSA which he has sent to amongst others, the Presidency.
Shaik informed Cwele in January that he intends to leave. Since then, there have been intense negotiations around, among others issues, Shaik’s pay-out package.
Media24 Investigations understands that Shaik informed Cwele that unlike Njenje and Maqetuka who had three year contracts, he had been personally appointed by President Jacob Zuma for a period of five years.
Shaik’s contract expires in September this year and his departure from the SSA will cost the taxpayer a substantial payout.
A source close to Shaik confirmed that the spy boss’s redeployment in government follows a meeting between him and President Zuma.
Zuma and Shaik met shortly after the spy boss announced his intention to resign, Media24 Investigations understands. Zuma had offered to pave the way for him for a top position at a parastatal.
Presidential Spokesperson Mac Maharaj said that he had ‘no comment at this stage’.
City Press reported September last year that Cwele had ordered his three top intelligence officials to resign.
South Africa’s intelligence establishment has been rocked by three scandals in six years amid accusations of the political abuse of the agency.
Morale in the SSA is said to be at an all-time low and all three spy bosses have complained to Zuma about Cwele’s involvement in what they alleged were unauthorised operations, including the alleged surveillance of cabinet ministers.
They also believe that state security was being used to fight factional battles within the ruling party ahead of the ANC’s elective conference later this year.
Zuma is understood to have sided with Cwele, but has a close relationship with Shaik that dates back to his involvement in ANC intelligence structures in KwaZulu-Natal while Zuma was the organisation’s intelligence head.
Cwele’s confidant and currently acting director general of the SSA, Dennis Dlomo, is expected to assume the top position in the SSA.
Dlomo is very close to Cwele and has become the “public face” of the controversial Protection of State Information Bill.
He is also a former ANC intelligence operative in KwaZulu-Natal who was commanded by Shaik.