SSA distances itself from 'wild allegations' that ANC MP Havard could be a spy

News24 on Wednesday reported that an SSA report raised concern with Havard’s access to classified information and the possibility of sharing it with the Chinese ministry of state security.

MP Dr Xiaomei Havard. Picture: Facebook.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African government on Wendesday defended the country’s relations with the China following media reports that African National Congress (ANC) Member of Parliament Xiaomei Havard could potentially be a spy for the Chinese government.

In a statement issued on Wednesday afternoon, Deputy Minister for State Security in the Presidency Zizi Kodwa described the media reports as “wild allegations” and distanced the agency from them.

"The agency has taken note and serious exception to the News24 exclusive article purporting that they are in possession of an SSA report alleging 'a finding of high likelihood of ANC MP Ms Xiaomei Havard to be spying for China', the agency disassociates itself from this malicious falsehood perpetuated through the media platform to advance the ulterior motives of discrediting and undermining the integrity of the Agency," he said through a statement on Wednesday.

News24 on Wednesday reported that an SSA report raised concern with Havard’s access to classified information and the possibility of sharing it with the Chinese ministry of state security.

Kodwa said the State Security Agency disassociated itself from what it said were malicious falsehoods perpetuated through the media, adding that they condemned the portrayal of the Chinese government as hostile to South Africa. He said instead, the report was meant to advance ulterior motives to discredit and undermine the integrity of the agency.

He affirmed that South Africa-China relations were built on solidarity, trust and human dignity.

Kodwa also said China remained one of the important developmental partners of South Africa.

On Wednesday, Chinese government officials took part in the Limpopo Investment Conference pledging support and interest in various projects.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance (DA) called for the report making the claims to be published.

The ANC caucus in Parliament said given that it was not an accredited service provider in intelligence matters, it is unable to comment on the authenticity of the reports regarding Havard.

Havard became an MP in January this year on the ANC’s ticket to replace late minister in the presidency Jackson Mthembu, with the party crediting her business acumen and other skills as the strengths that made her standout.

Wednesday’s reports are also not the first time that the Chinese national has been thrust into the spotlight with allegations that she bought her way into the ANC’s top echelons upon her appointment.

Meanwhile, the DA said it would write to President Cyril Ramaphosa to request that the SSA report containing the spy links allegations be released to the public so that South Africans can judge for themselves.

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