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Country Reports on Terrorism 2011 - South Africa

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 31 July 2012
Cite as United States Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2011 - South Africa, 31 July 2012, available at: [accessed 23 January 2018]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Overview: Continuing its efforts to counter international terrorism in 2011, South Africa took measures to address border security vulnerability and document fraud which, in the past, hindered the government's ability to pursue counterterrorism initiatives. With an ongoing attempt to centralize all intelligence and security activities under the umbrella of the South African State Security Agency (SSA, formed in 2009), new protocol procedures were placed on counterterrorism coordination and information exchanges. Although the South African Police Service-Crime Intelligence (SAPS-CI) unit has traditionally been the most responsive on counterterrorism matters, the SSA stipulated that any counterterrorism-related coordination should occur directly through the SSA/foreign branch (SSA/FB) and it will determine which other entities within SSA will be involved. As a result, coordination on counterterrorism-related issues suffered from a lack of communication and coordination between SSA/FB and SAPS-CI, which directly affected responsiveness to U.S. requests for information. Also, the SSA has noted up front that it will not provide any information related to South African entities to the United States, even if it relates to counterterrorism matters.

2011 Terrorist Incidents: Beginning in July 2010, Brian Patrick Roach, a 63 year old South African citizen, attempted to extort the British government by threatening to release hoof and mouth disease among the livestock in the United Kingdom. He further threatened that if his demands were not met by the British, he would infect livestock in the United States with the same disease. Roach conducted all of this activity from within South Africa and was considered a terrorist by the South African government. This matter was investigated jointly by the South African national prosecuting authority, the South African Police service, New Scotland Yard, and the FBI. On February 12, 2011, the subject was arrested and in June he pled guilty to terrorism charges.

Legislation and Law Enforcement: The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Container Security Initiative team in Durban that works with SARS to screen containers entering and leaving the port for contraband, currency, nuclear materials, and other WMD. SARS is a member of the World Customs Organization and worked closely with the Department of Homeland Security CBP to develop the SARS' Customs Border Control Unit, which is modeled after the CBP's antiterrorism contraband enforcement team. South Africa continued to participate in the Department of State's Antiterrorism Assistance program.

Countering Terrorist Finance: South Africa did not share information related to terrorist financing with the United States. As a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group, a FATF-style regional body, South Africa largely complied with FATF standards for anti-money laundering and counterterrorist finance, and had a functioning Financial Intelligence Unit, the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC). Those required to report to the FIC included banks, financial institutions, car dealers, attorneys, gold dealers, gambling establishments, real estate agents, foreign exchange dealers, securities traders, money lenders (including those who lend against shares, e.g., brokers), entities selling travelers checks, and Johannesburg stock exchange- registered people and companies. South Africa's FIC is a member of the Egmont group.

For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2011 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes:

Regional and International Cooperation: South Africa is a founding member of the Global Counterterrorism Forum. South Africa was elected to its second two-year term as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (2011-2013) and played a leading role in the African Union Peace and Security Council.

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