Feature

The Battle For Truth About Rogue Unit

By Akuba Mokoena

JOHANN van Loggerenberg, the former SARS commissioner who was implicated in the Rogue unit which allegedly spied on former President Jacob Zuma and others, posted the article below in what is probably a response to the launch of the Sunday Times journalist Stephen Hofstatter’s book launch. Hofstatter who it is alleged is an Austrian spy was among the journalists who for over a year, relentlessly wrote articles about the Rogue Unit. Loggerenberg bemoans the propaganda that was waged against the Rogue Unit but how much of the fight-back propaganda was he a part of? He’s co-authored two books and self-confessed drug dealer Glen Agliotti tweeted that Jacque Pauw’s President’s Keepers was co-authored by Loggerenberg. There are claims in some quarters that Minister of Public Works Pravin Gordhan had a hand in it.

Agliotti: “Chad you and I know that Johan van Loggerberg was the author of Jaques Pauw’s book

Here’s Loggerenberg’s piece

Food for thought – to our media oversight bodies, journalistic experts and academics

On the so-called “rogue unit” saga, I’ve pretty much had my say on the matter. The propaganda was so successful, it continues to be believed by some to this day. A few comments on this:

  1. It has happened before. Pre-94. It was called Stratcom. It was an Apartheid-era government sanctioned strategy advanced by a bona fide rogue intelligence unit. It is part of our history. A filthy, nasty, ugly, criminal part of our history. Some in our media should’ve learnt from it and not replicated it.
  2. Post-94, it has happened many times too. Think of Browse Mole, Ground Coverage, Broken Arrow, Snowman, Hoax emails, Black Hawks, VAG, Gadaffi billions, Check Mate, Ginger Group, Jericho, Spider Web, Illegal renditions, 2nd IPID report, Cato Manor hitsquad, Rogue unit, Fake union, to name but a few. Some worked, some not so much, some failed dismally. In all instances, the media was the primary platform used to advance these hocus pocus “leaks” and “intelligence reports”. They should’ve served as examples of what not to do.
  3. I believe that if journalists claim to have been “fooled” by “anonymous sources”, the least they can do is i) genuinely accept they’ve been played, ii) truly acknowledge the consequences without any if’s or but’s, iii) play open cards without reservations, iv) expose the supposed “anonymous sources” and wicked ways in which the lies were fed to them, v) confront those who lied head-on, vi) and to inform the nation exactly what happened – in very specific detail. Until then, “sorry” sounds a bit like KPMG, McKinsey, Bain & Company, SAP and Steinhoff.
  4. A “sorry” means little if you’re not prepared to do something meaningful about it when you are the best placed person to do so. You owe it to your profession to unearth the truth. You need to ensure that the nation is informed, and more importantly, that our independent media is never abused in such a manner again.
  5. We see politicians, senior and junior government officials, heads of departments, ministers, SOE board members and employees, big accounting firms and private consultancy firms and business people being implicated in Commissions of Inquiries and before parliamentary committees. However, our media being independent and guided by their own rules and oversight systems, remain conspicuously silent and absent from these proccesses which will hopefully cleanse our land of the evils and consequences of State Capture. Not as reporters, but as witting or unwitting conduits that advanced State Capture. My challenge to the media, is for them to replicate these probes, using mechanisms like the South African Editors Forum (Sanef), the Press Council and Press Ombud, and Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA), journalistic experts and academics to serve our nation by conducting probes into what happened. Perhaps people with big voices could advance this challenge? I find the silence by oversight bodies and prominent media experts in our media world rather sad.

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