Chapter 11

Security services

This chapter deals with the police, army and intelligence services and states how they must work in order to secure the state. This chapter also requires security services to operate in a manner that does not violate important constitutional values and principles.

Security services consist of one defence force, a police service and an intelligence service. No other army apart from the South African army will be allowed. National security is controlled by Parliament and the National Executive. The President, as commander-in-chief of the Defence Force, must appoint a military command for the defence force and a national commissioner for the police. These services, along with the intelligence services, are responsible to designated Cabinet ministers.

The security services must follow the law and the Constitution, and any international documents signed by South Africa. They are there to protect the people and the country. They are not allowed to act for or against a political party. 

Section 199(6) of the Constitution states that a manifestly illegal order may be disobeyed. This is in reaction to the defence raised by many apartheid national security operatives who claimed that they were merely following orders. This clause is modelled after the German constitution where similar claims were made by those who committed crimes during World War 2 and the Holocaust.


Audio Visual

President Mandela gives his State of the Nation address in Parliament. Mandela ends his address with the words, “Let us all get down to work”.

“We must construct that people-centred society of freedom in such a manner that it guarantees the political and the human rights of all our citizens.”– President Mandela, extract from State of the Nation Address, 24 May 1994

President Nelson Mandela announces his cabinet. It includes members of the African National Congress, National Party and Inkatha Freedom Party.

“There was pride in serving in the first democratic government in South Africa, and then the additional pride of serving under the iconic leadership of Nelson Mandela … [He] represented the hopes of not just our country, but of oppressed, marginalised and the poor in the world.”– Jay Naidoo, then Minister of RDP housing
“We place our vision of a new constitutional order for South Africa on the table not as conquerors, prescribing to the conquered. We speak as fellow citizens to heal the wounds of the past with the intent of constructing a new order based on justice for all.”– President Nelson Mandela, 10 May 1994