US expert Brooks Spector speculates US intel may have picked up informal chatter, but is unlikely to be a formal Iranian plot.

US magazine Politico reported allegations of an attempted plot to assassinate US Ambassador to South Africa Lana Marks, in retaliation for the United States killing the Iranian general, Qassem Soleimani, in a January drone attack, based on US intelligence sources.,

RELATED: Donald Trump’s new SA ambassador Lana Marks talks trade, rugby and impeachment

On Monday, Lester Kiewit spoke to Naeem Jeenah, director at Afro-MiddleEast Centre, who said it needs to be taken 'with a pinch of salt'. He argued that South Africa is one of Iran's few friends and it seemed unlikely it would put that good relationship in jeopardy by orchestrating such action on South African soil.

Jeenah also noted that Iran was unlikely to consider Marks a political equivalent to Soleimani.

He adds that it is more likely a ploy by the United States to send a message to the South African government about its relationship with Iran.

SA State Security Agency has stated that the matter is receiving the necessary attention.

Kiewit now talks to and Associate Editor of Daily Maverick and former US Diplomat, Brooks Spector.

Spector notes that Politico is known to be a reasonable publication not given to wild innuendos.

He notes the SSA's statement was the expected response.

Spector says he is entering completely speculative waters when he suggests perhaps this was something hatched in the 'shadier and darker edges of the world.'

He notes that when Soleimani was killed by the Americans in Iraq, the Iranians did say there would be an accounting for this death.

By Joseph Hanlon

There is growing pressure in South Africa for military intervention in the insurgency in Cabo Delgado province in northern Mozambique. But the government needs to be aware that it would be choosing sides in an extremely complicated civil war. The elite from the ruling party, Frelimo, its international backers and the proponents of military support say the war is part of a global campaign by the Islamic State group (IS) militant group that might spread to South Africa.

In fact, this is a civil war in Cabo Delgado driven by growing poverty and inequality. From Boko Haram in Nigeria to insurgents in Cabo Delgado, Isis has tagged on to local insurgencies driven by inequality and marginalisation, only adding a bit of publicity and aid. And it is pleased to see the global panic, which builds its brand.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has described the US middle east plan as another apartheid. The US plan proposes to allow Israel to annex all its illegal settlements as well as the strategic Jordan Valley. Israel has imposed a ban on the export of Palestinian farm produce via Jordan. In an escalating trade war, this will make it impossible for farmers in the occupied West Bank to connect with markets around the world. The Palestinians have described the export ban as a dangerous action. Palestine said the Israeli move is part of a dispute that began in October when their authorities ordered a halt to the import of calves from ranches in Israel. They said at the time they wanted to decrease their dependency on the Israeli market. But Israel saw the move as a breach of a trade agreement. Matshidiso Motsoeneng is a researcher at the Afro-Middle East Centre, a think tank based in Johannesburg. She joins us via Skype for more on this.

Azhar Vadi talks to Naeem Jeenah, Director of Afro Middle East Centre.

Virtual Nelson Mandela Lecture, hosted by the National Council of Provinces
Parliament of the Republic of South Africa


 Theme: Each one Teach One: The Power to Transform the World: Mandela in Conversation with Palestine

Presented by Na'eem Jeenah

(View the event on Youtube here)

17 July 2020

Honourable Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, Comrade Sylvia Lucas, Honourable Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Comrade Lechesa Tsenoli, Honourable members, Comrades.

Before I begin, I want to extend my condolences and the condolences of my colleagues and comrades to the Mandela family on the loss of their daughter, our sister and comrade, Zindzi. Comrade Zindzi’s death reminds us of the many struggles we still have to win in our country and the world: against impoverishment, climate change, occupation, colonialism, apartheid, capitalism, and for justice, economic liberation, and freedom. It also reminds us of the very immediate and urgent challenge of Covid-19. May she rest in Peace, and may she and her parents be witnesses to us never dropping the spear.

One other comment before I begin is to note that Comrade Lechesa Tsenoli and I both signed the Global South Call against Israeli annexation of Palestinian territory, along with politicians, academics, artists, sportspeople, judges from various countries of the South, such as Brazil, India, Malaysia, Chile and Venezuela. We were in company of a number of former heads of state, including Kgalema Motlanthe. Such gestures from the leadership of our legislature are important for Palestinians who are being betrayed all over the world.

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