Following the United States’ issuing of a terror alert for South Africa, both the United Kingdom and Australia have issued warnings to their citizens in the country and those intending to travel here.
Shortly following the US announcement, the UK adjusted its travel advisory to a high-terror alert.
The Australian government has also updated its travel advisory for South Africa, saying: “The US government issued a terrorism alert to its citizens in South Africa on 4 June, 2016.
“The warning notes that ‘the government has 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’.
“Be particularly vigilant in areas frequented by foreigners at this time. The level of this advice has not changed. We continue to advise Australians to exercise a high degree of caution in South Africa,” the Australian government advised.
The US government has received information that terrorist groups are planning to carry out attacks against places where its citizens congregate in shopping areas in South Africa, its embassy said on Saturday.
“This information comes against the backdrop of the Islamic State group’s public call for its adherents to carry out terrorist attacks globally during the upcoming month of Ramadan,” it said in a statement posted on its website.
It singled out upmarket shopping areas and malls in the commercial hub of Johannesburg and Cape Town, widely regarded as South Africa’s tourism capital, as the main target areas.
This is not the first such warning from the US government, which also issued an alert in 2015.
‘No immediate danger’
News24 reported earlier that State Security Minister David Mahlobo on Monday had downplayed the US government’s terror alert, giving assurances that his department was doing all it could to keep South Africa safe against attacks.
It was part of the United States government’s “standard precautionary recommendation to its residents”, he said in a statement.
“We remain a strong and stable democratic country and there is no immediate danger posed by the alert.” – African News Agency (ANA) & News24 (Edited by Michelle Solomon)