US stands firm on terror alert, while SA govt questions its credibility

The embassy has responded to a statement by Dirco & SSA, saying there’s been no change in the status.

FILE: Dirco spokesperson, Clayson Monyela. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Presidency says it's noted the United States (US) terror alert and will be meeting with the security cluster to discuss the matter.

This afternoon, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation and the State Security Agency (SSA) issued a joint statement announcing a diplomatic démarche has been served on the embassy.

The embassy has responded to the statement saying there has been no change in the status of its update, re-iterating that the alert was based on specific, and credible threat information.

International relations' Clayson Monyela says the department has summoned the US Embassy to discuss the information.

"It's important to emphasise that we value relations between us and the US, they are strong and cordial, they are political, economic and social - and we want to build and strengthen them further as they are already good, but we need to sort out these issues because alerts of that nature have the unintended consequence of causing panic."

LISTEN: Minister Nathi Nhleko moves to calm fears following terror alerts

Government has questioned the strength of the information the embassy relied on to issue a terror alert.

The US embassy has responded by saying there is no change, and the threat of Isis attacks at shopping malls still exists.

Monyela has described the US embassy's intelligence about the terror threat as sketchy.

"On closer examination we found the information to be dubious, unsubstantiated and provided by a walk-in source based on questionable conclusions."

However, the US embassy's Cynthia Harvey says the information is credible and it will continue to work with the government.

"We have been, and will continue to be, impressed with the high level of professionalism and transparent cooperation with the government of South Africa throughout this period."

It's understood the international relations department has scheduled meetings with the US and United Kingdom embassies.