There are strong indications that Dr. Sethlomamaru Isaac Dintwe will take up the post of South Africa’s inspector General of Intelligence.
This comes after Parliament’s joint standing committee on intelligence spoke favourably of him and subsequently put his name forward to be the country’s new civilian watchdog over spy agencies. He was interviewed alongside nine other candidates, including Adv. Jayshree Govender‚ Smange Jele and Andile Kilifele.
According to a report culled from Parliament’s Announcements, Tablings and Committee reports, the committee stated that Dintwe impressed all the members of the subcommittee when he appeared before them for his interviews. The committee wrote:
“The Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence, therefore, unanimously nominates him for consideration by the National Assembly, for recommendation to the President for appointment as the Inspector General of Intelligence.”
Prior to this development, the committee had earlier recommended former ANC MP Cecil Burgess to take up the post. But the contentious figure was shoved off after the African National Congress (ANC) failed to secure the numbers in Parliament to seal his nomination.
Burgess was the former head of the intelligence committee. He gained notoriety some time ago for the way he bulldozed the Secrecy Bill through parliament.
Since 2015, the committee has been in the process of appointing a new Inspector General for the country. The position has been vacant since 2014.
Following his recommendation, Isaac Dintwe will now need the support of a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly to finally clinch the enviable seat. The debate on his nomination is expected to hold next week; after which his name will be sent to President Jacob Zuma for an official appointment.
Who is Isaac Dintwe?
Dintwe holds a master’s degree in forensic investigations and earned his doctorate in police science from Unisa two years ago; where he heads up the Police Practice Department in the School of Criminal Justice.
The prospective civilian watchdog started out as a constable in 2000; working as a detective and an anti-corruption investigator and also with the police watchdog body, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, before he joined Unisa as a lecturer in 2007.
The Office of the Inspector General of Intelligence functions as a watchdog of the intelligence services. It also protects the public against illegal surveillance and abuse of power. As it stands now, piles of complaints are left untreated due to the absence of an Inspector General.