Spy cables: ‘Who benefits from leak?’

2015-02-24 12:51

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Leaked documents show SA cover up in Israeli missile-plan theft

2015-02-24 09:40

A secret Israeli spy cable has exposed an alleged cover up surrounding the theft of South African missile technology, according to cables in Al Jazeera’s possession. Watch.WATCH

Cape Town - “Who benefits?” a former senior member of South Africa’s intelligence community has asked in the wake of the leak of cables from within the State Security Agency.

The high-level source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told News24 that the agency had to determine the extent of the leak.

He said it could be damaging if the leak revealed the thinking of the SSA. He added that the information contained in the cables should be verified.

Some information started coming to light on Monday in cables obtained by news group Al Jazeera.

Denel theft

For instance, documents which were leaked appear to show that an attempted theft of South African missile technology by Israel was covered up. According to one of the cables, two men were caught red-handed trying to sell stolen missile blueprints, software and components from Denel.

Police launched a sting operation, posed as Russian buyers, and made their arrests outside Johannesburg in 2010.

Somehow Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency had obtained the anti-tank missile blueprints.  It sparked a behind-the-scenes battle between the two nations spies.  

South Africa wanted the blueprints back, which Israel agreed to - provided that a citizen, Yitzhak Talia, would not be prosecuted, the cable shows.  

'We didn't kill anyone'

But the source told News24 he wasn’t especially worried about information that would be revealed and which cover the period from 2006 to December 2014.

“We didn’t kill anyone or break any international laws,” the former official said.

Al Jazeera will release more information in the coming days.

- For more on the spy cables, click here or visit Al Jazeera.

Read more on:    ssa  |  security  |  media  |  spy cables

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