If the South African government does not want to be dragged into yet another international scandal, it should immediately play open cards about the real reasons why a group of South Africans in China was arrested and detained, Dr. Pieter Groenewald, the FF Plus’ chief spokesperson on Police and state security said.
While the government is drawing a veil over the matter and deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa is denying that he is personally dealing with the matter on the highest level in China, the FF Plus’ information is that the people in group had been arrested for suspected espionage.
The FF Plus’ information is that advanced technological equipment which could be used for espionage and which could spy on data and servers had been found with some of individuals in the tour group. Nobody has been formally charged as yet.
Dr. Groenewald says that the situation is extremely serious as the death penalty is handed down for espionage in China.
“The fact that the Chinese authorities did not inform the SA government of the arrests in terms of diplomatic protocols raises further concerns. Initially the Department of International Relations and Cooperation said that the deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa, is discussing the matter on the highest level in China, and now it is being denied. This is creating further confusion.
“South Africa is still staggering from the Fifa Soccer World Cup scandal which is still being investigated by the FBI and the Omar al-Bashir debacle. Now this. We are fast losing face in the eyes of the world.
“In this instance, the relevant country, China, is a senior Brics trade partner and indeed for many years South Africa’s biggest trade partner.
“The ANC government will soon realise that it is not so easy to silence and ignore international scandals as had been the case with Nkandla. It is in the public’s interest that they reveal the truth about this incident as soon as possible,” Dr. Groenewald said.
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