US Surveillance and its ANC Proxies Target Comrades

How Does US Surveillance of South African Political Leaders Impact National Sovereignty?

US Surveillance and its ANC Proxies Target Comrades

Last week, the Sunday Independent disclosed the second segment of a pivotal State Security Report. This follows the Supreme Court of Appeal’s decision to overturn a 2022 high court ruling that had previously barred Independent Media from publishing a document dated November 5, 2020. This report, entitled “Top secret: US interest in ANC party dynamics,” was initially commissioned by US intelligence operatives based in their offices in Pretoria.

Targets of US Surveillance

High-profile South African political figures were the focus of this espionage. Among those surveilled were Jacob Zuma, Ace Magashule, and Carl Niehaus, along with other notable former leaders of the ANC Youth League.

“The purpose of this intelligence brief is to inform the Minister and Deputy Minister of the State Security Agency (SSA) of the extent of the United States’ collection efforts and outputs regarding the political dynamics of the ANC, specifically in relation to developments regarding ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule and his perceived anti-president Cyril Ramaphosa positioning,”

the document details.

It also emphasizes the directive of the US National Security Strategy:

“…identify and assess capabilities, activities, and intentions of states and non-state entities and to develop a deep understanding of the strategic environment and to warn of future developments on issues.”

Information Gathering and Strategic Assessments

The report elaborates on how the Political Office of the US Embassy in Tshwane is actively collecting data concerning the ruling party, which is subsequently relayed to the US State Department.

According to the findings:

“This is in addition to the defiance of the Zondo Commission by former president Jacob Zuma, which forms part of the broader anti-Ramaphosa faction’s strategy to protect both Zuma and Magashule. This brief confirms that the US Embassy is part of the US intelligence community, and has a network of ANC party officials who, wittingly or unwittingly, share privileged information,”

highlighting the deep entrenchment of US intelligence within local political frameworks.

Defense Tactics and Provincial Dynamics

The document indicates that the Free State ANC and its Youth League are spearheading efforts to shield Magashule, potentially using his imminent arrest to spearhead a campaign aimed at displacing President Ramaphosa during the next National General Council (NGC). The report asserts that these movements have garnered varying levels of support across provinces, with notable opposition from KwaZulu-Natal’s ANC Provincial Chairperson and current Premier, Sihle Zikalala.

The reformation of the Free State ANCYL’s leadership is depicted as a facade, with the group described as a:

“rented crowd” who are protecting an ‘individual’.

The national office of the ANCYL is portrayed as compliant with the law, not backing any leaders accused of corruption, including Magashule.

Funding and Support Networks

Controversial business figures linked to Magashule allegedly provided substantial financial backing:

“The Secret Intelligence report also stated that a controversial businessperson with links to Magashule, furnished the Free State ANCYL with R 2.8 million early in 2020 to fund their operations,”

the text reads, underscoring the financial dynamics at play.

Coordinated Political Strategies

The report delves deeper into the strategic meetings between Zuma and Magashule in Durban, highlighting their concerted effort to undermine the Zondo Commission and weaken President Ramaphosa’s influence.

Responses to the revelations have been varied. Mzwanele Manyi, a spokesperson for the Zuma Foundation, suggested that the MK Party would be more suited to comment due to the political nature of the issues at hand. Meanwhile, Ace Magashule’s reflections were captured by Carl Niehaus, who remarked on the opposition to Ramaphosa’s leadership style and voiced concerns about the operations of the Zondo Commission:

“I openly spoke about this but I don’t remember trying to recruit ANCYL against Ramaphosa. What I find more disturbing is the fact that the US is spying on ANC leaders using the same ANC leaders to spy on their comrades. The Zondo commission was weaponised by certain factions within the ruling party to fight others. It is a shock that even some ANC leaders are US spies,”

said Niehaus, revealing a complex web of internal and external espionage.

What do you think?


Written by Siphiwe Dlamini

Name: Siphiwe Dlamini
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
Occupation: Journalist and Political Analyst

Siphiwe Dlamini is a dynamic and passionate journalist and political analyst based in Johannesburg, South Africa. With a unique blend of academic expertise and practical experience, Siphiwe has established himself as a trusted voice in the field of journalism, particularly in political reporting and analysis.

Siphiwe holds a Bachelor's degree in Journalism, where he honed his skills in investigative reporting, news writing, and multimedia storytelling. Additionally, he pursued a degree in Political Science, deepening his understanding of political systems, international relations, and policy analysis. This interdisciplinary educational background equips him with a comprehensive understanding of the socio-political landscape, enabling him to provide insightful commentary on current affairs.

Throughout his career, Siphiwe has demonstrated a commitment to journalistic integrity and a relentless pursuit of truth. He has worked for several prominent media outlets, including leading newspapers, television networks, and online platforms. His reporting has covered a wide range of topics, from domestic politics and social issues to international affairs and human rights.

Siphiwe's journalistic endeavors have taken him to the frontlines of major events, where he has provided on-the-ground coverage and in-depth analysis. His ability to contextualize complex political developments and communicate them effectively to diverse audiences has earned him recognition and respect within the industry.

Beyond his work in traditional media, Siphiwe is also actively engaged in public discourse, participating in panel discussions, debates, and academic conferences. He is committed to promoting transparency, accountability, and democratic values through his journalism.

As a political analyst, Siphiwe possesses a keen analytical mind and a nuanced understanding of political dynamics. He is adept at dissecting political rhetoric, evaluating policy proposals, and forecasting future trends. His insightful commentary helps citizens navigate the complexities of governance and make informed decisions about their collective future.

Siphiwe's expertise extends beyond mere reporting; he is also deeply involved in advocacy efforts aimed at promoting press freedom, defending human rights, and fostering democratic governance. Through his work, he strives to amplify marginalized voices, hold power to account, and contribute to the advancement of a more just and equitable society.

In his pursuit of excellence, Siphiwe remains dedicated to upholding the highest standards of journalism and serving as a catalyst for positive change in his community and beyond. With his unwavering commitment to truth, integrity, and social justice, he continues to inspire and empower others to engage critically with the world around them.


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