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Phantom Terror “Cells” in South Africa again.

The Media Review Network read with deep concern a report by Reuters (World News November 11,2016), in which our Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. Malusi Gigaba, referred to possible “terror” cells in South Africa. The Reuters report stated that the Minister had said that “South Africa has identified a number of “sleeper cells” set up by militant groups that aim to use the country as a logistical base,……………..”

This kind of fear-mongering and Islamophobia is not alien to South Africa. The “para-military” training camps outside Port Elizabeth,  South African “terror suspects” listed by the US and handed to the United Nations,  terror threats during FIFA World Cup 2010 and most recently the arrest of the Patel siblings  and the Thulsi Twins. In the case of the Patel brother and sister, the charges were overturned from “terrorism” to being in possession of illegal fire arms. While the Thulsi Twins remain incarcerated in prison awaiting their bail hearing, it has emerged that the ISIS contact person linked to the twins was a US agent. In the first three cases, no evidence was ever provided to support the allegations.

United States FBI agents are known to induce young  Muslim men to participate in terror plots. It is well documented that between 2001 and 2010 nearly half the terror plots involved FBI informants, some with criminal backgrounds, raking in up to $100,000

The Minister is also quoted as saying: “The South African government is aware that there are people who are using South Africa as a logistic hub, as a hideout and there are sleeper cells…………………..”  As long as no evidence is provided to substantiate this view, it will remain speculative.

This systematic demonisation and vilification of Islam has led to the unfair profiling of Muslims as “terrorists” and placing us under a cloud of suspicion.

The MRN emphasise our right to support the just struggles of people under occupation, wherever they may be.


Ibrahim Vawda

Media Review Network

+27 72 295 0088