Media Statement

08 June 2016

Government displeased with the manner in which the alerts about South Africa were handled.

The South African government takes the threat of violent extremism and terrorism very seriously. It is a global phenomenon that no nation can claim immunity from.

As part of their work, our security agencies are in constant liaison with foreign intelligence services represented in South Africa. Their work includes information exchanges on threats presented by violent extremism and terrorism.

South Africa as a sovereign peace loving country has always adopted a professional manner in engaging with other countries on these issues. We are, therefore displeased with the manner in which some countries have reciprocated. Their actions have been disingenuous and a cause for serious concern to our government.

The information provided as a basis for the latest terror alerts on South Africa has been found to be very sketchy. On closer examination, we have found the information to be dubious, unsubstantiated and provided by a “walk-in” source based on questionable conclusions.

It is within this context that the South African government rejects attempts by foreign countries to influence, manipulate or control our country’s counter terrorism work. We reject attempts to generate perceptions of government ineptitude, alarmist impressions and public hysteria on the basis of a questionable single source.

The South African government is fully capable of securing our country, protecting our people and taking care of the safety of foreign citizens on our soil. We expect foreign embassies on our soil to follow the correct channels when communicating matters of such nature.

To this end, the South African government has demarched the affected embassies to register our displeasure with the manner in which the matter was handled.

South Africa values the political, economic and social ties with these countries and will approach any discussion within the spirit of cooperation and international solidarity.

Government wishes to reiterate that the security of all people in South Africa remains its top priority. The security services will continue to remain vigilant at all times. Should the need arise, the South African government will be the first to inform the public about any imminent threat.

For more information: Clayson Monyela on 082 884 5974 or Brian Dube (SSA) on 082 418 3389.

Issued by DIRCO and SSA.

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