The British government has issued an alert warning its citizens in South Africa of an imminent terror attack.
The UK’s terror alert is coming barely hours after South Africa’s State Security Minister David Mahlobo downplayed the US government’s terror alert, giving assurances that his department was doing all it could to keep South Africa safe against attacks.
The British government said via a statement: “There is a high threat from terrorism. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners, such as shopping areas in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
There was considered to be a heightened threat of terrorist attacks globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria.”
The US had on Saturday also warned its citizens of a high terror threat in South Africa after it said it had “received information that terrorist groups are planning to carry out near-term attacks against places where US citizens congregate in South Africa, such as upscale shopping areas and malls in Johannesburg and Cape Town.”
US ambassador to South Africa Patrick Gaspard, revealed that his embassy issued the security warning based on verifiable information.
He also expressed happiness with the level of cooperation he received from South Africa since issuing a travel advisory warning of a real threat of terrorist attacks on shopping malls and US installations during the month Ramadan.
Notably, State Security Minister David Mahlobo asserted in the early hours of Monday, that the alert was part of the United States government’s “standard precautionary recommendation to its residents”.
He stated, “We remain a strong and stable democratic country and there is no immediate danger posed by the alert.”
Mahlobo also assured all and sundry that security services in the country will rapidly work harder on matters of violent extremism and terrorism amongst others and ensure the safety of all citizens and residents.
Meanwhile, BuzzSouthAfrica gathered that the US had been liaising with the South African government for the past few weeks in the run-up to the alert.