SA govt knew about UK spying - report

2013-06-21 08:10
(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Johannesburg - The South African government was aware that the British government was spying on it at the 2009 G20 Summit, a report stated on Friday.

South Africa took measures to strengthen security for its delegations visiting foreign countries, however, when it became aware of surveillance by the UK's Government Communications Headquarters, the Mail & Guardian reported.

British newspaper The Guardian reported on Sunday that the UK government spied on South African, Turkish and Russian delegates at the G20 Summit in 2009, simply for the purpose of gaining an upper hand in meetings.

But a source at the department of international relations and co-operation (Dirco) told the M&G that South Africa knew about the spooks in 2009, but opted to deal with the matter privately because of its embarrassing nature.

"What was carried in that Guardian article is something we already knew," said the source.

Dirco publically demanded that the UK government take action against those involved in the spying at the G20 meetings in 2009. South Africa, however, said this incident would not hurt "solid, strong and cordial" ties with the UK.

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