South Africa's top crime fighter says police are in control of the
situation after the United States closed all its facilities in the
country on security concerns.
Commissioner Bheki Cele told a media briefing in Cape Town the national
police service is working closely with the US Embassy after all US
facilities were closed Tuesday.
intelligence has had meetings...with American
personnel...and we are working on it. It happen[ed] [a] few hours,
less than 24 [hours ago]. There are things that have happened, there
are things that are happening and we are in constant contact with them,
so we cannot begin to release, what have we done, and what is
happening, as we are seated here," Cele said.
embassy spokeswoman Sharon Hudson-Dean told local media the facilities
were closed following a report from the regional security office based at the Embassy in Pretoria. Hudson-Dean said she would not
discuss any details of what had prompted the move.
Cele said all
possibilities were being checked, including that the threat might be a
hoax. But he said arrests will follow if concrete evidence is found
and told reporters the police are pursuing some individuals.
Africa has not been seen as a major terrorism risk, but the
developments have served as a reminder that U.S. embassies in Kenya and
Tanzania were attacked in 1998, resulting in 224 deaths.
threat of terrorism on South African soil is likely to be of serious
concern to the government, as the country prepares to host the 2010
FIFA World Cup next June.
The U.S. Embassy in Pretoria has
issued a warning to Americans in South Africa to be extra vigilant in
the vicinity of any U.S. facilities, including the Embassy and
Consulates General in Durban and Cape Town.