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Pretoria – The African National Congress (ANC) Parliamentary Caucus says it is not privy to any intelligence reports cited in the media, alleging that the ruling party’s MP Xiaomei Havard could be spying for the Chinese government and the Communist Party of China.
“The ANC Parliamentary Caucus has taken note of a series of media reports making rounds for months now regarding its MP, Dr Xiaomei Havard,” the office of ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina reacted to the news reports.
“The office wishes to place it on record that it is not privy to such intelligence reports and is not an accredited service provider in intelligence matters. It neither has the investigative capabilities to deal with such matters and is thus unable to comment on the authenticity nor veracity of these purported reports.”
The ANC’s Parliamentary Caucus concluded that it would not want to be entangled on the highly sensitive matter.
“We, therefore, do not wish to encroach on the line functions of authorized agencies and are not at liberty to comment.”
On Wednesday, Deputy Minister for State Security in the Presidency Zizi Kodwa also distanced the State Security Agency (SSA) from the “wild allegations” contained in media reports.
“The agency has taken note and serious exception to the News24 exclusive article purporting that they are in possession of an SSA report alleging “a finding of high likelihood of ANC MP Ms Xiaomei Havard to be spying for China,” said Kodwa.
“The agency disassociates itself from this malicious falsehood perpetuated through the media platform to advance the ulterior motives of discrediting and undermining the integrity of the Agency.”
He said that the SSA is aware of the escalating information peddling by both unscrupulous members and “external subversive forces” who are deliberately and intensely peddling false information through disinformation and misinformation in order to harm the integrity of the agency.
“The agency is governed by the Intelligence Services Act 65 of 2002 as amended and the National Strategic Intelligence Act 39 of 1994 as amended. These legal instruments have been designed not only to spell out the mandates of intelligence but also to preserve and protect its integrity and that of the citizens,“ said Kodwa.
“We therefore condemn with the contempt it deserves the attack on the integrity of Ms Havard and the malicious portrayal of the Chinese government as hostile to South Africa’s national security. Ms Havard, like any other South African, is entitled to the rights contained in our Bill of Rights as enshrined in the Constitution.”
Kodwa emphasised that South Africa continues to enjoy “fraternal relations” with China that have been built through solidarity, trust and human dignity over years of difficulty facing South Africa and the continent.
“To this end, China remains one of the important developmental partners of South Africa,” said Kodwa.
On Monday, Chinese Ambassador to South Africa Chen Xiaodong held a virtual press briefing where he decried an ongoing campaign to ostracise Beijing in the ongoing wide search for the origins of Covid-19.
African News Agency (ANA)