A lot of hidden agenda has come to light with the exposure of the details contained in the spy cables which Al Jazeera intercepted as a result of a digital leak. Al Jazeera reserved the right to hold the information contained and reveal the contents of the spy cables over time. Recall that the spy cables revealed Iranian spy activities in South Africa as well as how Iran wanted to use South Africa to bypass US sanction and trade for technological advise on the use and production of weapons.
Now however, another spy cable has revealed that there was a plot by an unnamed state to assassinate African Union chairperson and former wife of president Jacob Zuma, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in Ethiopia just days after she assumed the position in October 2012.
According to the cables, South African intelligence officials were alerted to an imminent threat to Dlamini-Zuma’s life on 22 October 2012. The information on the attack within the next two days was relayed to the embassy in Addis Ababa, where the AU headquarters are situated, and Dlamini-Zuma was told there may be changes to her protection arrangements especially when she is to travel to hot areas in Africa. But as at the time, four extra bodyguards were assigned to her hotel. It was done in a tactful manner so that it would not look like South Africa had no confidence in the security agency of Ethiopia. More so, it was not quite clear at that time whether Ethiopian security or the AU security was responsible for Dlamini-Zuma’s safety.
The documents also revealed that because South African and Ethiopian Intelligence agencies were not prepared for the plot when they got to know, they admitted that they were unable to offset the threat and apprehend those involved. Rather, they placed the blame on Sudan who they suspected to be behind the plot.
Amid the threat, South Africa’s security chiefs held an emergency meeting, where the then acting head of South African military intelligence, General T Nyembe, also warned that there had been another alert which further pointed out a potential assassination plot to be carried out at a different venue, but alas, the attack did not happen.
The spy cables seem to be revealing a lot of loop holes and things that are not right with the South African security system and highlighting all the places where its defenses are at the lowest point.