President hands in Section 89 submissions
President hands in Section 89 submissions Photo: The Presidency

President Cyril Ramaphosa says South Africans should be best informed by the South African government on matters of State security.

The President said it was unfortunate that the United States government issued a terror alert on Wednesday without discussing it with the South African government. The SA President said:

“It was quite unfortunate that the US government issued that type of warning without having had deep… discussions with us.

“Following that, we were able to engage them and to get to understand precisely where this warning or this information has come from. We are in the course of doing precisely that because warnings such as those do send a lot of panic amongst our people and South Africans should be best informed by the South African government.”

Speaking during a media briefing – following bilateral talks with his Spanish counterpart, President Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón – at the Union Buildings on Thursday, Ramaphosa said that the SA government is working around the clock to verify and look closely at the message that came from the United States.

“Our agencies, as they are getting better at their job of securing our people, are alert and are looking very closely at this type of threat and they continue to do so. Any form of alert will come from the government of the Republic of South Africa.”

Earlier in the day, Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Naledi Pandor, called on the global community to collaborate in combating terrorism.

She said the South African government was concerned about the terror alert issued by the US Embassy about a possible attack in the greater Sandton area this weekend.

“Terrorism is always a big threat that the global community must collaborate on. We are very concerned about terrorism after the alert the US embassy informed us about. Clearly our security organs are paying attention to this matter.

“All countries have to unite to combat terrorism. It’s exacting a terrible toll in the Sahal region and whatever we can do together, I think that we must all pull our security capacities into a united force against terrorists.”

On Wednesday, the US embassy issued a communique on its website, warning that it had received information that terrorists may be planning to conduct an attack on Saturday targeting large gatherings of people at an unspecified location in the greater Sandton area.

The DA said: “A warning issued by the US Embassy yesterday relating to a possible terrorist attack in the Sandton region of Johannesburg must be taken very seriously. The DA calls on Minister Mondli Gungubele who oversees State Security to urgently address the public.”

The Gay Pride Festival, which is due to take place on Saturday in Sandton, said it will go ahead after consulting with law enforcement officials. and DA.