A National Intelligence Agency (NIA) operative on Thursday appeared in the Pretoria magistrate's court for allegedly leaking information to the media in what is believed to be the first time this has happened in South Africa in the NIA's history, writes Hanti Otto in the Pretoria News.
Tshepiso Moketsi Moletsane, 36, of Soweto, handed himself over to police after learning there was a warrant out for his arrest.
He is charged with contravening the Intelligence Services Act, after apparently giving a mysterious document, known as Document X, to the Business Day newspaper earlier this year without permission.
Wearing a sweater top, Moletsane looked unfazed by the court proceedings.
Pretoria chief magistrate Desmond Nair granted him bail of R5 000 on condition that he must report to police once a week and not leave Gauteng without notifying the investigating officer.
Moletsane will appear in court again on October 21.
It is believed that after the NIA learned that Business Day was in possession of Document X earlier this year, they brought an application to the Johannesburg High Court in July to block the publication of "a sensitive document".
The paper was ordered not to publish any part of the document and that no person was entitled to be in possession of it or to publish its contents without the NIA's authority and permission.
Intelligence Minister Ronnie Kasrils reacted after that court order: "The intention of Business Day to publish classified information is highly unacceptable and unheard of in democracies anywhere in the world. The publication of classified information…threatens legitimate intelligence operations and undermines national security."
Business Day agreed to return the document to the NIA.
On Thursday National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Tlali Tlali said as far as he knew, this was the first time the NPA had to charge an intelligence operative for disclosing information without permission.
He said an incident occurred where the accused, during the course of his duty, came across information and/or a document. The content was disclosed without the necessary permission, according to Tlali.
Click here to read the full report, posted on iol.co.za.