South African ruling party official accuses US of plot

AP News
Posted: Feb 21, 2016 12:53 PM

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The U.S. government must clarify the "irregular activities" of some its diplomats in the country, a spokesman for South Africa's ruling party said Sunday.

"There seems to be irregular activities coming from the U.S. Embassy," said Keith Khoza, spokesman for the ruling African National Congress party. The ANC party will communicate their concerns to Washington through diplomatic channels, he said.

Khoza referred to accusations made last week by ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe that the U.S. is planning regime change in South Africa, similar to the Arab Spring. Speaking Friday at a march for non-racialism in the capital Pretoria, Mantashe said "regime change elements" similar to those in Libya and Egypt have crept into South Africa, the African News Agency reported.

"Those meetings in the American Embassy are about nothing else other than mobilization for regime change," said Mantashe, according to the agency. "We're aware of a program that takes young people to the United States for six weeks, brings them back and plants them everywhere."

The U.S Ambassador to South Africa Patrick Gaspard has strongly denied the allegations.

Gaspard said the young people in question are part of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, an initiative started by President Barack Obama in 2014.

"I'm incredibly proud of the work my U.S. Embassy colleagues do every day to partner with South Africans on health, education and job growth," Gaspard tweeted. "And I will defend their honor and non-partisan integrity."


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