‘US embassy gives impression SA is incapable of safeguarding citizens’

The SA government announced that démarches have been served on embassies that issued terror alerts.

FILE: Sandton. Picture: Gary Oberholzer/Talk Radio 702.

PRETORIA - Government has strongly criticised the US embassy, accusing it of trying to create the impression that South Africa is incapable of ensuring the safety of the public.

The International Relations Department and the State Security Agency have announced, in a joint statement this afternoon that démarches have been served on embassies that issued recent terror alerts.

The US embassy has responded saying there's no change to the status of the security message it issued on Saturday.

The South African government has suggested that the US embassy has been unprofessional and discourteous in the manner in which it issued a terror alert.

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International relations spokesperson Clayson Monyela says the terror alert was based on dubious and unsubstantiated information.

"We reject attempts to generate perceptions of government ineptitude, alarmist impressions and public hysteria on the basis of a single questionable source."

Monyela says South Africa's security agencies have always maintained contact with foreign intelligence agencies based in the country; which includes information exchanges on threats.

"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 call for serious concern to our government."

The US embassy's Cynthia Harvey says their position hasn't changed.

"There is no change in the status of the security message, it was based on specific, credible and non-counterable threat information."

The UK embassy has confirmed that it's been called to a meeting at the international relations offices in Pretoria.

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