State Security Minister David Mahlobo on Monday downplayed the US government’s terror alert, giving assurances that his department was doing all it could to keep South Africa safe against attacks.
It was part of the United States government’s “standard precautionary recommendation to its residents”, he said in a statement.
“We remain a strong and stable democratic country and there is no immediate danger posed by the alert.”
The US said in its alert on Saturday that it had received information that radical Islamic terrorist groups were planning to attack places where US citizens congregated – like shopping malls in Johannesburg and Cape Town – ahead of the month of Ramadan, which starts in South Africa on Tuesday.
Security services would continue to work on matters of “violent extremism and terrorism” and ensure the safety of all citizens and residents.
News24 understands that the US had been liaising with the South African government for the past few weeks in the run-up to the alert.
Soon after the alert was issued, there was a brief spat between international relations department spokesperson Clayson Monyela and US Ambassador Patrick Gaspard about the alert.
In a tweet on Sunday, Monyela criticised the US embassy in Pretoria, saying its terror alerts caused “panic”. He subsequently deleted it.
Monyela told News24 on Monday that he still stood by the remark and always deleted his tweets.
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