UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!


National Defence Force Intelligence Division

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) came into being on 27 April 1994. The 1993 Constitution stipulates that the SANDF will be used to defend the country against external and internal threats. The function of the SANDF is service in defence of South Africa in time of war and in fulfilment of the country's treaty obligations. Military service is also performed to prevent or suppress internal disorder, preserve life, health and property, and to maintain essential services.

The process of integrating the former South African Defence Force (SADF) with the military wings of the African National Congress (ANC), Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) and the armies of the former homelands into one force started on 16 May 1994 and will be completed by 31 March 1998. Some 21 000 Umkhonto weSiswe (MK) members and 6 000 Azanian People's Liberation Army (APLA) members are expected to integrate with the existing 95 000 members of the former South African Defence Force and former homeland armies.

The SANDF consists of four arms - the Army, Air Force, Navy and Medical Service - supplemented by three support services, the Chaplain General, the Inspector General and the Communication Service. The main staff functions of the SANDF are performed by five staff divisions, namely Personnel, Intelligence, Operations, Logistics and Finance. These staff divisions are also represented at arms of the service level.

The Intelligence Division gathers, correlates, evaluates and uses foreign military intelligence, and supplies foreign military intelligence relating to national strategic intelligence to NICOC. It is also responsible for counter-intelligence measures within the National Defence Force. The Division gathers, correlates, evaluates and uses domestic military intelligence, excluding covert collection, and supplies such intelligence to NICOC. But the National Defence Force Intelligence Division does not gather intelligence of a non-military nature in a covert manner.

However, the Intelligence Division may, whenever the President on the advice of the Minister of Defence is of the opinion that conditions are such that the Force has to prepare itself for possible employment for service, and upon having been authorised by the Co-ordinator for Intelligence acting with the concurrence of Nicoc and the Cabinet, gather domestic military intelligence in a covert manner within the geographical area and the time-scales specified in such authorisation.

The Intelligence Division (Int Div) of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), often referred to as "Military Intelligence", performs the intelligence and counter intelligence and foreign military relations staff function in the integrated SANDF/MoD headquarters. Int Div is accountable to the Chief of the SANDF and the Secretary for Defence for intelligence policy matters and its intelligence and counter intelligence function. Int Div is also part of the larger defence intelligence community, which includes the intelligence headquarters of the Arms of Service and Territorial Commands (provincial), which extend down to unit (tactical) level. Int Div is responsible for strategic military intelligence, while the intelligence structures of the Arms of Service are responsible for operational and tactical intelligence in support of military operations (including cooperation with the SAPS).


Role of Defence Intelligence. The role of Defence Intelligence is to enhance political and military decision-making wrt national security and military-related developments that may have an impact on the area of strategic interest in general, and on the RSA in particular.

Mission. Defence Intelligence provides customised military intelligence, counter-intelligence and military foreign relations services to enhance decision making in support of the mission of the Department of Defence.

Functions. Defence Intelligence entails the management and execution of the following main functions :

To determine the intelligence policy for the DoD through collaboration between Intelligence Division and the Defence Secretariat.

  • To supply a military intelligence service at national level.
  • To supply a counter-intelligence service to the DoD.
  • To conduct covert collection and to co-ordinate all other methods of intelligence collection used by the DoD.
  • To supply information support services to the DoD Intelligence Structures.
  • To provide a military foreign relations service to the DoD.
  • To provide intelligence training to the DoD.
  • To provide staff support services to the Intelligence Division.


The aim of Subdivision Military Intelligence (SDMI) is to establish and define possible sources of a military threat against the RSA and the Southern African region. Furthermore, it has to determine opportunities for military cooperation to promote national security objectives. As such it also contributes to national policy-making. SDMI is therefore organised to analyse all military-related security events in the world that could have an impact on Southern Africa and to maintain the capability to deliver timeous and reliable intelligence products to national and departmental decision-makers. SDMI is organised as follows:

  • Directorate Internal Theatre.
  • Directorate Southern Africa.
  • Directorate International Conflict.
  • Directorate Interdepartmental Analysis.
  • Directorate Interpretation and Production.

The strategic role of military intelligence at the national and departmental levels has gained in importance, because of an increase in the need to provide early warning of security-related instability, risks and opportunities. The establishment of the Directorate Internal Theatre enabled SDMI to contribute to the national intelligence effort in respect of domestic priorities, eg violent crime, taxi-violence, arms smuggling etc. SDMI achieved success in forecasting regional and international developments and thus enabled the DoD and other departments in the security community to plan timeous action to deal effectively with such contingencies.

SDMI fulfilled an important role in the DoD's strategic planning, the integration process and participation in interdepartmental intelligence production within the National Strategic Intelligence Coordinating Committee (NICOC). SDMI made meaningful contributions to

  • the formulation and implementation of the National Crime Prevention Strategy;
  • the compilation of the White Paper on Peace Support Operations;
  • the participation of the DoD and other relevant departments in multilateral security cooperation in Southern Africa and the rest of the continent;
  • the preparation of briefings to the Cabinet Committee on Security and Intelligence; and
  • the drafting of the 1996 National Intelligence Estimate.
  • SDMI maintained liaison with an increasing number of foreign intelligence services, thus enhancing its procurement and exchange of military intelligence.


    The aim of the Subdivision Counter-intelligence (SDCI) is to guide the countering of threats of hostile intelligence activities (including espionage), subversion, sabotage and terrorism against the Ministry of Defence, DoD and ARMSCOR in accordance with the SANDF's intelligence mandate. Its main activities involve identifying such threats (which includes the identification of actions, negligence and circumstances within the Ministry of Defence, the DoD and ARMSCOR, which may be exploited by hostile organisations or individuals) and the development of measures to counter them. For this purpose, the SDCI is organised into four directorates, namely:

    • Counter-Intelligence, charged with identifying the threat;
    • Counter-intelligence Investigations, charged with the conduct of specialised counter-intelligence information collection;
    • Military Security, charged with the development of measures to counter the threat; and
    • Vetting, charged with determining the security competency of individuals and the issuing of security clearances to the DoD and ARMSCOR employees.

    Counter-Intelligence Intelligence

    • Counter-intelligence intelligence products were compiled and disseminated to various clients both within and outside the DoD. These products identified areas where security measures had to be revised or rectified, areas where DoD employees could be vulnerable to exploitation by hostile or malicious elements and which should be taken into account during security vetting and areas which may be susceptible to hostile intelligence activities (including espionage), subversion, sabotage or terrorism. Management information was also provided to various levels of command within the SANDF. Besides the provision of counter-intelligence intelligence products to clients within the DoD, co-operation with the other intelligence structures in the RSA (eg the National Intelligence Co-ordinating Committee) resulted in the submission of counter-intelligence intelligence products at national level.
    • The analysis of counter-intelligence related information indicated that the threat to the DoD's personnel, materiel and classified information resources has intensified during the year under review and will remain high at least in the short term. This threat level is amplified by socio-economic factors (eg the present crime levels in the RSA, which also impacts on the DoD), low morale amongst certain SANDF employees and uncertainty regarding the career implications of the transformation process and budgetary cuts.
    • Counter-intelligence Investigations. The collection of counter-intelligence information was largely focussed on the activities of extremist organisations aimed at disrupting the preparedness of the SANDF to fulfil its constitutional obligations. Directed counter-intelligence investigations undertaken by the SDCI included efforts to confirm or refute allegations of espionage by DoD employees, or similar actions initiated by foreign intelligence services or extremist organisations directed against DoD employees.

    Military Security

    • The efforts of the Military Security Directorate were concentrated on improving the standard of information, personnel and materiel security in the DoD. To this end, a SA National Defence Force Order (SANDFO), which was based on the cabinet approved Minimum Information Security Standard, was promulgated during February 1997.
    • During the year under review, security monitoring to determine adherence to military security policy and to provide practical expert advice, was done at 95 headquarters, staff divisions and units. Most of the shortcomings identified during these inspections can be ascribed to decreasing expenditure on security as a result of budgetary constraints and the loss of skilled and experience as a result of the severance packages system and retirements amongst military security specialists.
    • In the course of the year under review, an Information Systems Security Steering Committee, representative of all stakeholders, was established to address the vulnerability of electronic data and communications systems. A SANDFO was promulgated to regulate the use of the Internet in the SANDF. Furthermore, the use of new, commercially available software to identify and neutralise computer viruses was instituted.
    • Other centralised functions executed by the Military Security Directorate included the following :
    • The evaluation and securing of offices and conference facilities both internally and abroad against micro-electronic eavesdropping.
    • The monitoring of operations aimed at the protection of dignitaries and the provision of practical advice.
    • Security assistance with the release of classified information for research purposes and legal cases.
    • Security assistance regarding the formulation of formal agreements and memoranda of understanding between the RSA and various other states.
    • As a result of uncertainty regarding the possible structural implications of the present transformation process, the review of the SANDF's counter-intelligence doctrine (inter alia regarding counter-intelligence support during military operations) could not be completed during the year under review. The current counter-intelligence philosophy is, however, being reviewed and will serve as a conceptual basis for the revised doctrine.


    • The Directorate Vetting made a significant contribution towards the standardisation of security vetting procedures at the national level through relevant National Intelligence Co-ordination Committee structures. To enhance the SANDF's vetting capabilities, three members of the Directorate were trained in the USA in the use of the polygraph.
    • During the period 96/97, a total of 12 058 security clearances were issued. This represents a total of 401 Top Secret, 1 410 Secret, 5 278 Confidential and 4 976 Restricted clearances. A total of 94 clearances were refused during the same period.


    Subdivision Collection (SDC) is requirement driven, which provides relevant information and information collection capabilities to the intelligence processing structures of the DOD, in accordance with the legal mandate. The four directorates comprising this subdivision all contribute to the effort in achieving and execution of collection coordination as well as information support functions of the SANDF.

    The role of the Directorate Geographic Information in the SANDF is the provision of support to defence planning, training and operations. The Directorate of Geographic Information is accountable for the Strategic Management of the Geographic Information function. Geographic information is created and delivered by the Director of Engineers, Joint Air Reconnaissance Intelligence Centre (JARIC) and the Hydrographer of the Army, Air Force and Navy respectively. DGI assures that geographic information process is conducted according to the applicable Directives and Policies. It is also the responsibility of DGI to establish and maintain strategic sources of geographic data to the SANDF; of which the acquisition of image data from space is an example. Therefor contracts and agreements with local and foreign capabilities are established and maintained. Geographic Information in the SANDF is presently changing from an analog to digital systems. Prime examples of this progress is the upgrading of the JARIC (Image Intelligence) and 4 Survey and Mapping Regiment (Computerized Mapping), both which is to be delivered shortly. While the computer based systems are seen as an essential need for the future, conventional mapping and imagery systems still have to provide an invaluable supplementary service to the SANDF for a substantial period.

    The aim of the Directorate Covert Collection is to collect, through covert means, information that cannot be obtained in any other way. The Directorate's mandate is derived from the National Strategic Intelligence Act. 39 of 1994. The Directorate has succeeded in consolidating its activities in accordance with set priorities. Interdepartmental relations were maintained with the other intelligence organisations through the NICOC Sub Committees responsible for domestic and foreign covert collection.

    Directorate Technology Support has as it's primary objectives the provision of computer support, technical/technology support, communications support as well as the provision of support for the electronic collection functions of subdivision collection. The continued expansion of international relations and the subsequent requirement for dependable communications by military attaches has necessitated the evaluation and planning of fulfilling these set requirements. A strategic information technology (IT) and information systems (IS) planning program for Intelligence systems has been finalised. The main thrust of this program ie the re-engineering of these processes has to be supported by a Technology reference model and the upgrading of hardware to support these processes. This strategic exercise was supposed to enhance the transformation process presently being conducted by the SANDF, however, it is being severely curtailed due to the lack of funds and the result of the budgetary cuts/adjustments.

    The purpose of the section Defence Intelligence Information Centre is to provide an information support service to Defence Intelligence. The primary objectives are the timely provision of military related security information to Defence Intelligence through the effective utilisation of all collection agencies and the accessing or activation of all available information for Chief of Intelligence and the Defence Intelligence Community.


    The purpose of the Chief of Foreign Relations is to promote and manage the foreign relations of the DoD in accordance with international obligations and conventions. This is done by pursuing, managing and administering a wide variety of activities, which can be subdivided into the following broad categories.

    • Section Foreign Relations. The aim of the section is to manage the foreign relations of the SANDF. Presently the SANDF is represented in 44 countries abroad by 38 attachés while 27 countries are represented in the RSA. These figures do not include the two SANDF officers stationed at the UN in New York. The section also manages the implementation of military co-operation agreements.
    • Section Visits. The aim of the section is to render a service to the DoD regarding official visit arrangements. There was again a large number of visits, as 312 visits abroad took place, during 96/97. During the same period, there were 112 foreign visits to the SANDF.
    • Section Protocol. The Protocol Section of Chief of Foreign Relations is responsible for the provision of and control over all protocol activities including, decoration ceremonies, parades, lunches, dinners, gifts and tokens of goodwill for the Ministry of Defence, Chief of the SANDF, Defence Secretary and Chief of Foreign Relations, as well as the rendering of advice and counsel with respect to receptions, gifts and protocol correspondence to the Defence Community.
    • Foreign Attachés. The CFR is also responsible and deal with the foreign military attachés and liaison officers from defence forces in the RSA. A total of 36 foreign attachés are accredited to the RSA at present.
    • Attaché Administration. The activities of the attaché administration, which cover the wide spectrum of the personnel, logistics, finance and management services for CFR, were substantially extended during the processes of negotiation, integration and reorganisation. During the financial year of 96/97 this section was responsible for administration and logistics of 34 offices. The budget managed by this section during 96/97 was RM23,9.

    The Inter-State Defence and Security Committee (ISDSC) operated under the chairmanship of the Minister of the Defence of Malawi during 1997. In June 1996 at the Summit of SADC Heads of State or Government in Gaborone the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security was established and President Mugabe of Zimbabwe was elected chairman of the Organ. At the summit the principles, objectives and institutional framework of the Organ was agreed upon. It was also agreed that the ISDSC was to be one of the institutions of the Organ together with the Foreign Affairs substructure which is still to be established. The ISDSC continued its work during 1997, both the Principle Secretaries of Defence and the Defence Chiefs of the member states met to discuss matters of mutual concern. The Operations Sub-subcommittee, Standing Aviation Committee, Standing Maritime Committee, Southern African Regional Military Chaplaincy Association and a number of working groups met during the course of the year. The Operations Sub-subcommittee has completed the Standing Operational Procedures (SOP's) for Disaster and Humanitarian Relief Support Operations in the region and the Framework for Regional Participation in Peace Support Operations. The SANDF participated in the regional peace support exercise Blue Hungwe which was hosted by Zimbabwe. It was also agreed that the SANDF should host a similar exercise in 1998. A regional telecommunications network was also agreed upon and would be operational after approval at the 19th Session of the ISDSC which was held in Lusaka, Zambia in November 1997 when the Minister of Defence of Zambia took over the chairmanship of the ISDSC.


    The aim of Directorate Staff Support is to provide staff support services to Intelligence Division. This is done by managing and administrating a variety of functions which are subdivided into the following sections

    • Section Personnel Maintenance. The aim of Section Personnel Maintenance is to perform personnel maintenance effectively in order to satisfy the needs of both Intelligence Division and the individual members of Intelligence Division. Section Personnel Maintenance is involved in the planning, management and administration of Service Conditions and Service Benefits such as leave, remuneration, allowances, termination of services as well as medals and decorations of members. There was a marked increase in the activities of the section due to the initiative iro the voluntary termination of services, the general salary adjustments, the introduction of new medals, the planning and costing iro the transformation of the SANDF and the auditing of all personnel files as well as the computerization of all leave records.
    • Section Personnel Utilisation. The aim of section personnel utilisation is to manage the staffing, career planning and personnel development of all SAMIS and civilian personnel at Intelligence Division. Much effort has gone into the integration of all former Statutory and Non Statutory force members which has impacted heavily on the training function. The last intake of former Non Statutory force members who have been integrated into the Division took place in March 97. It is expected that all former NSF members (excluding members from the last intake) will complete their bridging training by the end of 1998. Although the Division is dependant on the Arms of Service to provide joint military development training the process seems to be running smoothly and are awaiting results of the accreditation of courses done overseas. During 1997 members from the former non statutory forces and the former statutory forces were promoted according to the set criteria. This Division also embarked on an Adult Education programme at the beginning of 1997 which has members enrolled for secondary school education ranging from standard 5 (grade 7) to Std 10 (grade 12) who will be writing examinations at the end of 1997.
    • Section Management Services. The aim of section Management Services is to provide an effective management consultation service to Intelligence Division and Defence Intelligence. In order to maintain this aim the following functions are carried out by section Management Services:
    • The initiation, promotion and implementation of efficient management practices within Intelligence Division.
    • The provision of an organisation and work study service to Intelligence Division.
    • The promotion of strategic planning and organisational development at Intelligence Division.
    • The promotion of productivity and continuous quality improvement at Intelligence Division.
    • To render an internal staff support service in support of Intelligence Division's participation in the SANDF's Transformation process.
    • To support Chief of Intelligence's Defence Intelligence management responsibilities.
    • Section Financial Services. The aim of Section Financial Services is to maintain effective control over the administration regarding the budgeting process and expenditure control in accordance with Treasury and Financial regulations and procedures. The functions of the section are the following:
    • The planning, leading, organising and control of the Section Finance.
    • The processing of requests for expenditure and ensuring that the necessary authority for such expenditure exists.
    • The co-ordination of the Intelligence Division budget.
    • Section Internal Services. The aim of Section Internal Services is to provide effective and efficient supporting services for Intelligence Division.

    Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list

    Page last modified: 28-07-2011 00:54:22 ZULU