Thu, 21 Nov 2019

SSA team still hunting top spy Thulani Dlomo in KZN

News24
17 Oct 2019, 16:10 GMT+10

A team from the State Security Agency (SSA) is still on the hunt for top spy Thulani Dlomo who has not been seen since January.

A decision was taken to fire Dlomo for being AWOL from work at least two weeks ago, but the SSA has not been able to locate him to hand over his letter of dismissal.

On Wednesday afternoon, SSA spokesperson Mava Scott told News24 the agency had not yet found him, and a team had been dispatched to KwaZulu-Natal to locate him.

On Tuesday, the SSA confirmed that Dlomo was fired for not coming to work. News24 understands that he has not been seen or heard from since his return to the agency from Tokyo nearly nine months ago.

News24 reported on September 26 that Dlomo had gone AWOL, and it is understood that SSA acting director-general Loyiso Jafta had fired him shortly after the report was published.

Scandal

Dlomo is the former head of the SSA's controversial special operations unit, which has been accused of using state resources to benefit former president Jacob Zuma and his allies.

He is also the former South African ambassador to Japan.

Dlomo joined the SSA in 2012 off the back of a scandal at the provincial KwaZulu-Natal government, and was seconded to Japan in 2016.

He was recalled along with several other ambassadors in January this year, and was supposed to resume his duties at the SSA but never turned up for work.

Asked for clarity on why it was taking the SSA so long to find Dlomo, Scott said he had been missing since January and the agency had not been able to locate him at any of his addresses.

The most recent list of addresses and phone numbers compiled from Company and Intellectual Property Commission records ends in 2014. Dlomo has had at least seven addresses between 2007 and 2014, all listed in Durban, in which he lived interchangeably during that time.

Most of the addresses listed are modest residential homes or units in blocks of flats. Two addresses are PO boxes, one of which no longer exists.

The records also show 13 phone numbers that Dlomo used between 2006 and 2014 - either cellphone numbers or landlines in Durban. Most of these numbers either did not exist, when called by News24, or went to voicemail.

He also has no active social media pages.

News24 understands that Dlomo is still using one of the SSA's vehicles, and that his medical aid and benefits were cancelled recently, which resulted in his lawyers writing to the agency threatening legal action. They are also demanding the reinstatement of his benefits.

In spite of this, the SSA has still not been able to trace him.

In 2012, Dlomo was appointed as head of its special operations unit. Besides providing security for politicians aligned to Zuma and other unlawful activities, the high level review panel into the SSA found that the unit was a "parallel intelligence structure serving a faction of the ruling party and, in particular, the personal political interests of the sitting president of the party and country".

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