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Muslim academic Professor Hussein Solomon reveals the extent of terrorist financing, training, and activity on South African soil. He describes the relationship between the extortion of big businesses, kidnappings, and terror financing. He states that the Government does not have the ability, the capacity, or the political will to deal with the growing threat. And he warns that the country is not immune to a big terror attack.
International terrorist networks are raising funds, training and operating on South African soil without much fear of successful prosecution.
And the South African government does not have the ability, the capacity, or the political will to deal with the growing threat to its national security.
That is the view of Muslim academic Professor Hussein Solomon who has researched terrorism on the continent for the past 25 years.
He says that:
- There is a relationship between the extortion of businesses, kidnappings and organised crime syndicates and terrorist networks;
- Terrorist financing laws are not being implemented because people involved, for example, in state capture, etc. “would also run foul”; and
- There is no capacity inside the security services to combat terrorism activities in the country.
“It’s been denuded of capacity. They are politicised in the sense that they are largely used to fight factional ANC (African National Congress) battles and to spy on journalists who are going to expose the latest corruption case.”
Professor Solomon calls for the appointment of people in “our security apparatus on the basis of what they know as opposed to who they know”.
He also calls for the use of “specialists” from the private sector to help root out the culprits: “…if you have, for example, specialist forensic skills to follow the money trail, then you are most probably sitting in a business or corporation as opposed to working for the state sector, right? And therefore, these are where your public-private partnerships kick in. There is where the South African security services need to work with business closely to assist them to shut down these routes.”
The professor points out that terror activities in the country is one of the reasons why South Africans are finding it increasingly complicated to travel – and do business – around the world.
“You know, there was a time when I would enter a country, give my passport, and I would just simply be waved through. That’s long gone. You know, people don’t trust the South African passports and so forth – and they have concerns if you come in from South Africa. And it’s extremely problematic, not just for individuals, but of course for businesses in terms of the cost of doing business, in terms of all of the compliances you have to engage in, in terms of the grey listing and so forth.”
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