May 27, 2024
South Africa: National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure on United States Threat Alert
– By Godswill Odiong

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The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS) which comprises of various government departments as led by State Security Agency (SSA), South African Police Service (SAPS) and South African National Defence Force (SANDF) meets on a regular basis to assess the safety and security of the country. The NATJOINTS wishes to re-iterate that safety and security of citizens remain the top priority and that the law enforcement agencies have measures in place to deal with threats to national security.

NATJOINTS takes all threats seriously. As part of institutionalised processes, the NATJOINTS has counter intelligence measures in place to assess and mitigate terrorism threats. The US threat alert comes at a time when heightened law enforcement visibility and targeted operations are already in place as part of Safer Festive Season Campaign which started on 15 October 2022. All hands are on deck and all law enforcement agencies have joined forces to ensure that South Africans and those who live in this country are and feel safe.

NATJOINTS is responsible for safety and security of all major sporting, cultural and recreational events. The country will have over 500 events from 28 to 30 October 2022; more than 200 of those will be hosted in Gauteng. This calls for heightened police visibility, road blocks and search-and-seizure operations. Spectators, fans and patrons might expect delays in accessing the venues and other strategic points. We urge the public to exercise patience and cooperate with law enforcement agencies.

NATJOINTS notes with concern the proliferation of false or misleading messages about possible targets of terrorist attacks. The general public is discouraged from sharing misleading information on social media platforms about terror attacks to avoid creating unnecessary panic and alarm.

NATJOINTS can give the assurance that the intelligence community diligently follows-up on any information at hand but has not confirmed the veracity of any threat at this stage in time. Security agencies remain on high alert.

NATJOINTS notes the statement issued by the United States Embassy in South Africa to their citizens about the possibility of a terror attack in Sandton, Gauteng Province. South African Intelligence Community has engaged their US counterparts with an expectation that credible information would be shared. As part of cooperation agreements which law enforcement agencies have with various foreign agencies, information is shared on aspects of mutual concern.

South Africans are urged to report any suspicious behavior and activities. If you see something, say something! Trust your gut and act. To provide information that may assist the law enforcement agencies, call the 24-hour Crime stop hotline: 08600 10111.

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