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ANC puts SA’s security in focus

A Kenya General Service Unit policeman stands guard in the area around Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi.

A Kenya General Service Unit policeman stands guard in the area around Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi.

Published Sep 30, 2013

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Johannesburg -

The African National Congress’s national executive committee called on state security officials to analyse the mall attack in Nairobi, Kenya, in order to protect South Africa, the party said on Sunday.

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“In this regard, our own security cluster was directed by the NEC to analyse the attack and work on the security of our country in liaison with relevant institutions in the continent and the world,” secretary general Gwede Mantashe said.

Mantashe was addressing reporters in Johannesburg after the ANC’s NEC meeting over the weekend.

He said the attack highlighted the need for tighter immigration laws and processes, strengthening of the security features of the SA identity documents and monitoring the movement of people in general and suspicious movements in particular.

“The ANC pledges its solidarity with the people of Kenya in the aftermath of this terrorist attack,” he said.

“The NEC further supported the work that seeks to ensure stability and peace in the horn of Africa in general and Somali in particular.”

The al-Qaeda affiliated group al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack at Nairobi's Westgate mall on September 21. Attackers were at the mall for four days in a siege in which at least 67 people were killed.

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Mantashe said the NEC also discussed the latest developments in the International Criminal Court in The Hague, and the proposal by the people, government and parliament of Kenya to lobby African countries to review their membership of the ICC.

He said there was an agreement that the ICC was representing inequality before the world justice where the weak is always wrong and the strong is always right.

“The fact that cases get taken by individuals and even NGOs makes leaders in smaller countries and in Africa, particularly, even more vulnerable.

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“There is clear evidence that the ICC is used more to effect regime change in the majority of cases,” he said.

Mantashe said the sovereignty of many African countries was undermined as is the case in Kenya when the ICC requires the president and deputy president to be in the Hague for the duration of their case, reversing the original agreement that they will be in court at the beginning and at the end of the case.

He said with that in mind, the NEC mandated President Jacob Zuma to participate freely in the AU debate of African countries reviewing their individual membership of the ICC, in Addis Ababa on October 12.

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“The NEC strongly mandated the president and the delegation not to break ranks with the continent on this matter,” he said.

The committee also congratulated Zuma for championing Syria during the G8 meeting in Russia.

He said the meeting further congratulated Zuma for leading the debate on the transformation of the United Nations (UN) and the Security Council, in particular during the 68th United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York, America last week.

The NEC endorsed sentiments that the UN Security Council needed urgent transformation as it was non-representative, unfair, undemocratic, and non-responsive to the needs of developing nations. - Sapa

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