EFF loses court bid for release of classified intelligence report by SSA

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The EFF had approached the court to release the document on media reports about members of the State Security Agency (SSA) allegedly involved in unlawful activities.

State Security Agency logo. Picture: ssa.gov.za

JOHANNESBURG – The High Court in Pretoria on Monday granted the Department of State Security an interdict to block the release of an intelligence report from 2014.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) had approached the court to release the document on media reports about members of the State Security Agency (SSA) allegedly involved in unlawful activities.

This was after the party laid a complaint with the public protector’s office on the alleged unlawful existence and operation of an intelligence unit within the South African Revenue Service (Sars).

The court said it could not be disputed that the Constitution vested the state security minister with the powers to classify documents under his custody either as confidential or secret.

David Mahlobo was minister at the time of the complaints.

The court said taking into account the purpose of the Protection of Person Information Act and the minister’s reasons for seeking the restriction of the intelligence report, the interdict was granted.

The court also dismissed the EFF’s counter application and ordered the party to cover the costs.

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