While South African malls are beefing up security following an alert by the United States on a possible terrorist attack, the country’s defence minister David Mahlobo says there is no cause for alarm.
The US embassy said it had received information that radical Islamist terrorist groups were planning to attack places where US citizens congregated – like shopping malls in Johannesburg and Cape Town – ahead of the Islamic month of Ramadan which starts on Tuesday in the country.
Mahlobo however says the alert was only “a precautionary recommendation to its residents, and says South Africa remains a stable country”.
Although the US is working with South Africa’s security services, it seems the latter is not impressed by the issuance of the latest alert.
Meanwhile, the spokesperson for the South African international relations department, Clayson Monyela has lashed out at the US embassy on Twitter saying the alerts caused “panic”.
“The last advisory by @USEmbassySA to US citizens in SA warning of an ‘imminent attack’ proved to be a false alarm. I see there’s another 1,” the tweet said.
US Ambassador Patrick Gaspard responded: “The price of freedom is eternal diligence, and through Grace we are all made safe. The only false note is arrogance.”
Monyela ended the debate by replying: “I won’t engage you on that road Amb. You know my views on these advisories & the panic they cause.”