Today's Big Stories

SA response to US terror alert 'irresponsible', claims counter-terrorism expert

The South African government has been irresponsible to take terror attack warnings lightly, according to security expert Anton Du Plessis.

This follows the release of a high alert over possible terror attacks on upmarket shopping malls, targeting Americans in South Africa.

In a tweet, International Relations spokesperson Clayson Monyela says the last time the US Embassy issued a terror attack warning last year, it turned out to be a false alert.

Du Plessis says that, too often, government "downplays" terror warnings, influenced by their political stance on foreign policy.

Whenever it comes to something that resembles counter-terrorism, [the South African government] downplays it too much and does not align with it.

Anton Du Plessis, Executive Director at the Institute of Security Studies

He says that South Africa is technically prepared to address terror threats, but lacks political leadership to effectively respond.

According to Du Plessis, South Africans should be cautious in light of the warnings, but must avoid over-reacting.

"To say that we shouldn't be concerned is naive."

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