chapter  2
28 Pages

The birth of South Africa’s intelligence capability and the rise of the “securocracy”, 1948–1972

From the founding of the Union of South Africa in 1910 through to its establishment as a republic in 1961, South Africa did not possess a national intelligence service; such a capability was either provided by Britain or existed in all-but-theoretical form throughout this period. It is for this reason – in tandem with the creation of South Africa’s first formalised national intelligence capability in 1961 following the declaration of an armed struggle by the African National Congress and its allies against the apartheid state the year before – that, as noted in Chapter 1, a focus on the development of South Africa’s intelligence dispensation starting in 1960 is most significant. Nevertheless, despite this intelligence capability gap which existed prior to 1961, the development of the structures and relationships which would subsequently inform that intelligence dispensation are of considerable importance to understand, not the least of which because of the trends in South Africa’s intelligence dispensation which were established in the pre-republican period and have lasted well into South Africa’s new, post-apartheid intelligence dispensation in the twentyfirst century.