SA State Security officials remain mum on possible terror attack

Yesterday, the US warned its citizens of possible attacks on US facilities or shopping malls in SA.

Sandton. Picture: Gary Oberholzer/Talk Radio 702

CAPE TOWN/JOHANNESBURG - The State Security Department is remaining mum on the US Embassy's warning of a possible terror attack on Americans in South Africa.

The embassy issued a warning on its website yesterday, stating it had specific and credible information of terror groups planning to carry out attacks at Johannesburg and Cape Town malls.

V&A Waterfront management officials have confirmed security has been increased at the mall in response to the alert.

In a tweet, International Relations spokesperson Clayson Monyela says the last time the US embassy issued a terror attack warning last year, it turned out to be a false alert.

He goes on to say that these alerts only cause panic among South Africans.

The State Security Department says it will release a statement on the matter in due course.

The South African Police Service has declined to comment.

Last month, a new message purporting to come from the spokesman of Islamic State called on followers to launch attacks on the West during the Islamic holy month of Ramadaan, which begins in early June.

Monyela yesterday said the country's security agencies were capable of ensuring the safety of its residents.

"The state security agency and other security agencies in this country are very much capable of keeping South Africa safe and everybody in this country, including Americans," he said.

"The last time they did this, towards the end of last year, nothing came out of that advisory," he added.

Meanwhile, Western Cape Premier Helen Zille and US diplomats held a briefing yesterday.

The premier says national security agents are investigating the matter, adding the warnings are very concerning.

"We must always take a warning at this level, that is a high alert, very seriously. The US has strong intelligence and they've passed that intelligence onto the South African authorities and I don't think we should ignore something like this."

Additional reporting by Reuters.