The FF Plus today urgently called in a letter to the minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms. Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, to provide answers to allegations that South Africans are being implicated in espionage in China.
Dr. Pieter Groenewald, chief spokesperson on Police and State Security for the FF Plus, said the issue is making waves worldwide and South Africa cannot afford becoming involved in yet another international scandal following the Fifa soccer scandal and the Omar al-Bashir issue.
“If any or all of the South Africans are innocently being implicated in the issue, it is the duty of government to clear away any doubt about it as quickly as possible.
“Government’s attempt thus far to draw a vail of secrecy over it is doing more harm than good. If the South African citizens have not been involved in any irregularities, it has to unequivocally stated with the necessary proof, if needed,” Dr. Groenewald said.
Dr. Groenewald said he would like to clearly state that the FF Plus in its initial statement did not link any South African directly with espionage.
The relevant part of the FF Plus’ statement yesterday read: ‘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…’
The FF Plus’ letter to the minister reads, amongst others, as follows:
‘Reliable information that the FF Plus has received points to a member of members of the original tour group, which includes people with various nationalities, including South Africans, were found in possession of advanced technological equipment which could be used for sabotage.
‘As South Africa cannot afford being dragged into an international scandal with China, the country’s biggest trade partner, the FF Plus requests that your department provides clarity on the allegations in the interest of everyone in South Africa, to protect South Africa’s good name and reputation abroad.’
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