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US terror alert is “disingenuous”, “dubious”: SA Foreign Ministry
June 8, 2016, 1:32 pm

The US State Department and the US embassy in South Africa are yet to react to Pretoria's latest statement [Xinhua]

The US State Department and the US embassy in South Africa are yet to react to Pretoria’s latest statement [Xinhua]

South Africa has lashed out at the US after a State Department warning that terror groups are planning attacks in South Africa’s biggest cities of Cape Town and Johannesburg. Pretoria has called it an attempt to “manipulate” and “control” South Africa’s counter-terrorism efforts.

Days after the US alert, the South African Foreign Ministry issued a strongly-worded statement on Wednesday saying it was “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,” said an official statement issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.

The Ministry said these are “attempts to generate public hysteria”.

“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,” it added.

The South African government has now “demarched the affected embassies” to “register our displeasure with the manner in which the matter was handled”, the statement said.

The statement added that the government is fully capable of securing South Africans and foreigners in the country.

The Foreign Ministry has also asked foreign embassies in South Africa “to follow the correct channels when communicating matters of such nature”.

The US State Department and the US embassy in South Africa are yet to react to Pretoria’s latest statement.

“The U.S. Government has received information that terrorist groups are planning to carry out near-term attacks. This information comes against the backdrop of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s public call for its adherents to carry out terrorist attacks globally” during Ramadan,” the US State Department had warned earlier.

There are no known militant groups operating in South Africa, according to security officials. Pretoria has no military involvement in the current crises in the Middle East.

 

TBP

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