NEWS & ANALYSIS

SAPS and SITA: Boeremag allegations a smoke screen – Pieter Groenewald

FF Plus leader says it is ludicrous for Police Commissioner to suggest this without any substantiated proof

Allegations that ‘Boeremag’ infiltrated Sita a smoke screen for incompetence

2 May 2018

The simple fact that the State Information Technology Agency (Sita), which manages the state and police IT systems, was infiltrated is shocking and serves as proof of the absolute incompetence of the staff who are responsible for operating the system and keeping it protected.

It is also ludicrous for the Police Commissioner, Khehla Sitole, to say that the Boeremag infiltrated the system without having any proof to substantiate such a statement. It seems to be nothing more than a smoke screen to try and cover up the incompetence at Sita.

In the audit report of the 16/17 financial year, the Auditor-General (AG) already expressed concerns about the competence of the state’s IT system that had, according to the report, not improved since the previous financial year.

In 2013, the system was also infiltrated by a hacker who obtained access to the police’s database and in so doing got hold of the identities of 17 000 police informants and whistle-blowers.

At that time, the Minister of Public Service and Administration said in response to a parliamentary question posed by the FF Plus that “various safety measures” have been implemented to prevent hacking of the system in the future. It has now become apparent that those measures were inadequate.

Commissioner Sitole must explain to the public how it is that the state knows who hacked its top-secret IT system, but that so far no arrests have been made.

It is also interesting that Sita chief executive, Dr Setumo Mohapi, said that he reported the “Boeremag issue” to the Hawks for investigation.

It is to be expected that the state’s own security agency will investigate an extremely sensitive matter of such magnitude. But now it seems as if this agency is not able to conduct such an extensive investigation.

Issued by Pieter Groenewald, FF Plus Leader, 2 May 2018