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Security in SA 'compromised'

Earlier this year, the 'White Widow' was spotted spying on foreign embassies in Pretoria.

A Red Notice or warrant of arrest was issued by Interpol for Samantha Lewthwaite otherwise known as the 'White Widow'. Picture: Interpol

JOHANNESBURG - The ANC says it's concerned about the state of security in South Africa after it was placed on a high terror alert.

The alert came after Samantha Lewthwaite was spotted spying on foreign embassies in Pretoria earlier this year.

Dubbed the 'White Widow', Lewthwaite is believed to be the mastermind behind the terrorist attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall which left at least 67 people dead.

The _Sunday Independent _reported that as a result of the sighting, South Africa was placed on a Level 4 Orange Code Alert.

Only a Red Alert is more intensive, which could lead to the evacuation of foreign diplomatic staff.

The Department of Home Affairs has not yet responded to the report.

The South African security cluster has been instructed by the ANC's National Executive Committee to sharpen the country's security features in light of this information.

The ANC's top leaders met for a two-day meeting at the weekend where the situation in Kenya was placed on high agenda.

The party's Secretary General Gwede Mantashe said the security cluster would work with relevant institutions in South Africa and abroad to strengthen the security of the country.

Mantashe said the attack in Nairobi has made South African authorities realise the need to urgently tighten the country's security.

"There is a higher need for tighter immigration laws and processes to strengthen the security features of South African identity documents and the monitoring of movements of people in general and suspicious movements in particular."

Lewthwaite, who has been on intelligence watch lists for the past two years, is believed to have entered Kenya on a fraudulent South African passport under the name Natalie Faye Webb.

She is wanted in South Africa for identity fraud and in Kenya for being in possession of illegal explosives and conspiracy to commit a crime.

Lewthwaite was married to Germaine Lindsay, one of the suicide bombers who carried out the London attacks in July 2005.

Interpol has issued a Red Notice for Lewthwaite's arrest, binding all 190 member countries to assist in tracking her down and arresting her.