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Pretoria - There has been no word from Kenyan officials on the South African passport of the fugitive Briton dubbed the “white widow”, Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor said on Thursday.
“We have not had communication from Kenyan officials that a South African passport was used. Of course we co-operate with the government of Kenya and have sent condolences,” she told reporters in Pretoria.
The woman is wanted by Kenyan authorities over alleged involvement in a plot to bomb holiday resorts there.
News media speculated about her possible involvement in last week's attack on a Nairobi mall after a Kenyan minister said a British woman was in the group.
Pandor said a South African passport belonging to the woman was fraudulently issued.
“It (the passport) was investigated and reported on in 2011. It was cancelled at the time as it was found to be acquired fraudulently.”
Pandor said further investigations had to be done into how the passport was issued to a woman named Natalie Faye Webb.
“What we need to do is look at the applications office and check who processed it and how that person met the requirements to be granted a passport.”
Pandor said the passport was issued in Durban and last used in February 2012. Since then it had not been used as the person was classified as a terrorist.
The minister said she did not think it was easy to get a South African passport, adding “it might have been easy at the time”.
She said officials would have to talk to the real Webb, who had a South African mother and a British father, which made it possible for her to obtain a South African passport.
Deputy director general of emigration services Jacky Mckay said the identities of those related to the “white widow” would be investigated.
“All identities related to that passport will be put on the stop list to ensure no travelling because they were acquired under assumed identities,” he said.