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Intelligence cables reveal murky events

  • Berland Holland Feb 15
It was general knowledge - but not acknowledged openly in the apartheid era - that South African intelligence co-operated with Israel and Mossad. Now, AlJazeera is publishing daily documents leaked from SA intelligence agencies further stoking the fires with evedence of post-Apartheid links between SA and Israel's respective secret services.
by SUZANNE BELLING | Feb 25, 2015

But now, in 2015, in post-apartheid South Africa, there are reports emanating from various wire services and AlJazeera regarding the South African State Security Agency meeting with senior agents of Mossad in Pretoria in October 2012 and the leak of hundreds of secret documents from several other overseas intelligence agencies.

A liaison report by the SSA contains information on a ticking off by senior SSA officials of the Mossad Africa section chief for not adhering to correct procedure and contacting the SSA director-general directly, without revealing he was an intelligence operative.

After a demand that Mossad should be respectful towards its host country, an SSA official said South Africa needed to co-operate with Mossad on counterterrorism and counter-proliferation. But the co-operation was dependent on adhering to the rules.

The unnamed Mossad operative pointed out that changes in both intelligence organisations and a deterioration in relations between South Africa and Israel, contributed to the deviation of procedural conduct.

The leaks revealed that SSA operatives became vulnerable to foreign espionage after the dismantling of apartheid, that there were efforts by Iran to use businesses in the country as front companies to overcome Western-imposed sanctions. Another revelation is that Iran approached the SA government to try to avoid Western global sanctions.

Articles in South African newspapers reported in depth on the business “fronts” used to aid the Iranian cause. This is included in the leaks to Aljazeera and The Guardian newspaper in the UK, as well as information on Iranian Intelligence operations in South Africa and the existence of jihad training camps in Lenasia, Port Elizabeth and KwaZulu-Natal. In Port Elizabeth, there appear to be many Pakistanis in training sessions, while a trainer in KZN is a man who has known links with the Taliban.

Iran’s interest in South Africa, the documents reveal, is to try and attract students from this country to study in Iran, to export Shia Islam to counter the Sunni influence in southern Africa.

Deputy Israeli Ambassador to South Africa Michael Freeman, when approached by SA Jewish Report, said: “Israel is not in a position to comment on security.”

Avrom Krengel, chairman of the South African Zionist Federation, likewise would not comment on the issue.

According to News 24, there is a serious diplomatic dent between Israel and South Africa.

“As the governing African National Congress has moved to an activist stance in support of Palestinian human and state rights, the documents reveal how… Mossad has frayed. “It is clear from the cable leaks that South African Intelligence believes Mossad has infiltrated agents into airline El Al’s station at Oliver Tambo Airport in Johannesburg.”

There is also an allegation that SA Intelligence is concerned that Israeli operatives were tapping South African cell phones.

Included in a 2009 document, is a claim that Mossad was suspected of using Israeli software giant Amdocs to listen in to cell phone conversations in South Africa and gather information.

Amdocs was suspected of being used as a front company, with main customers including Telkom SA and Cell C. It appears that Amdocs had faced accusations of eavesdropping in the US, but was cleared by the CIA, FBI and NSA.

In one of the documents from September 2010, a cable to the SSA from Mossad contains a warning that there could be an imminent shipment of uranium from South Africa, alleging that the Israel agency had received information that an Armenian broker was procuring a type of uranium concentrate powder believed to be from South Africa.

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