- Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Ronald Lamola and French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Catherine Colonna have signed a cooperation protocol agreement.
- France will help South Africa shore up its cybersecurity defences, as well as help establish an anti-corruption academy in Tshwane.
- Lamola says that by investing in cyber defence, SA’s investment prospects will improve.
The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is set to receive better cybersecurity defence capabilities as part of a cooperation protocol agreement between South Africa and France.
The agreement was signed on Monday by Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Ronald Lamola and French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Catherine Colonna.
The French minister is visiting South Africa this week to discuss a number of topics including the Just Energy Transition, the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, and cybersecurity.
On the latter, the two ministers signed an agreement that is expected to see the establishing of an anti-corruption academy in Tshwane. In addition, the agreement will add much needed skills to strengthen the SIU’s capacity in cyberforensic investigations, financial crimes and analytical skills, according to a report from SA News.
“We are going to benefit a lot through this process of training that will enable our forensic cyber capabilities and investigations to be on par with the standards of the world and the globe because these types of crime are no longer just national, they are transnational in nature,” Lamola said in a statement.
The minister went on to say that by amping up South Africa’s cybercrime fighting capabilities, investor confidence could improve in South Africa.
“This agreement will yield results beneficial to the South African citizens and possibly to all the SADC region. As a result of the close cooperation from the French experts, the SIU currently has 22 trained trainers who possess the capability to train other investigators,” Colonna said in a statement. “Since the very early stages of our cooperation, members of the SIU have been to France and have had opportunities… to see and experience the French expertise in the field of mostly cyber investigations. I call for those exchanges to grow.”
We’re curious to see how local authorities ramp up the fight against cybercrime.
As a reminder, the Department of Justice and Correctional Services (or Justice and Constitutional Development as it was known at the time) was hacked in 2021 with at least 1 200 files lifted from the department.
While the Information Regulator found the department guilty of not taking adequate steps to safeguards its security systems earlier this year, there hasn’t been any word on whether the perpetrators of the hack were found or prosecuted.
Perhaps this agreement will improve this but as with most things locally, we’ll have to wait to see how this all plays out and falls into place.
[Image – SA Government Twitter]