SA expels foreign defence attaches


Two foreign military attaches have been expelled from South Africa in an effort to curb alleged subversive activities.

The Beeld reported that other senior officers could soon follow suit. The newspaper reported that the two expelled attaches are believed to be from Rwanda and Burundi. In March South Africa expelled a diplomat from Burundi’s embassy in connection with a raid on exiled Rwandan general Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa’s Johannesburg home.

A diplomatic source, who asked not to be named, told Reuters that South African security services had tracked those involved in the raid and had said they were intelligence personnel attached to the Rwandan embassy. South Africa in early March expelled three Rwandan diplomats and Rwanda, which borders Burundi, retaliated by ordering out six South African diplomats.

Meanwhile, the Department of Defence has instituted stricter rules controlling the activities of defence attaches, Beeld reports. Attaches are now requested to provide information on their travel activities.

A letter from Defence Intelligence dated April this year to the Military Attache and Advisory Corps (MAAC) reads: “It has been noticed that there is a growing trend on the side of MAAC members of leaving the Gauteng Province without notifying the Chief Defence Foreign Relations (C DFR) of their whereabouts. All MAAC members are kindly requested to provide their visit information before they embark on any type of visit, the purpose of the visit, the time period and the person responsible for the day to day running of the office during their absence.
“All MAAC members are kindly requested to adhere to this procedure as the way of strengthening the communication channels between themselves and C DFR.”