ISIS, in whatever guise and offshoot, is reality in southern Africa and government should act sooner rather than later, Freedom Front Plus (FF+) foreign affairs spokesman Dr Corne Mulder maintains.
As a first step and in the wake of the latest bout of violence in northern Mozambique, he wants International Relations and Co-operation Minister Naledi Pandor to “engage” with the government of South Africa’s eastern neighbour.
“She must ask Mozambique to get its house in order and take action to address the threat (posed by Islamist insurgents reportedly an offshoot of ISIS),” Mulder said in a statement, adding it was time for “the South African government to seriously focus on, among others, its borders and how to avert risk there as a frontline defence”.
“It is well-known and alarming that South Africa’s borders are permeable and the country’s intelligence services have drastically deteriorated being recently mostly employed for ANC infighting.
“According to news reports, a number of South Africans are implicated in the recent attack on Palma. This confirms reports over the past few years that the group is actively recruiting members in South Africa,” he said quoting an Institute for Security Studies July 2020 paper ‘How Serious is the Islamic State threat to attack South Africa?’
“It would be naive to think ISIS is recruiting people in South Africa, but will not make attempts to systematically expand its influence and ideology across the country.
“The threat is imminent and real. Every South African must take note of it.”
Earlier this week another parliamentarian, Kobus Marais of the Democratic Alliance (DA), called for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to counter the “scourge of increased terrorism” in Mozambique.