19 September 2020
PRETORIA – The State Security Agency has announced that senior South African government officials have met with their United States counterparts, and other stakeholders as Pretoria authority seek further information on the alleged threat to kill US Ambassador to South Africa Lana Marks.
“At present, the information provided is not sufficient to sustain the allegation that there is a credible threat against the United States Ambassador to South Africa,” the State Security Agency spokesperson Mava Scott said in a statement to media.
“The South African officials have requested additional information from the United States Government. Once the information is forthcoming, the facts will be reviewed and re-assessed.”
Scott emphasized that Pretoria took the reported plot very seriously.
“Our sovereignty and territorial integrity is of utmost importance to the South African government and her people. In this regard, the South African government takes seriously any alleged threat and we have therefore heightened our security situation/alertness. It is our duty to protect all diplomatic missions, and their personnel, present in South Africa,” said Scott.
“We highly value our bilateral and multilateral relations and will not compromise on any matter of security. We reiterate that such plots of assassination against diplomats are viewed in a very serious light and Her Excellency, Ambassador Marks has been assured of our commitment in this regard.”
Scott said the State Security Agency was appealing to “everyone to remain calm”.
Unites States based Politico journal, quoting unnamed U.S officials reported that Washington had evidence that Iran was plotting to attack Lana Marks, who is reportedly very close to U.S President Donald Trump.
Reacting to the sensational allegations, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran Saeed Khatibzadeh said the report was an anti-Tehran accusation raised in a custom-ordered report.
In a statement, Khatibzadeh described the report as “custom-ordered, biased and purposeful”, which cites the remarks made by a purportedly US government official in an attempt to make it look real.