The UK government has issued a travel advisory for South Africa following the kidnapping of two Britons earlier this month in KwaZulu-Natal by a couple suspected of having links to the terrorist group ISIS.
In an advisory updated on Monday, UK authorities warned of possible indiscriminate attacks in the country, including at places frequented by foreigners such as shopping areas in major cities.
“The main threat is from extremists linked to Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL). In February 2018, two South African-British nationals were kidnapped,” read a terse statement on the government’s online travel advisory for South Africa.
“News reports suggest that a number of South African nationals have travelled to Syria, Iraq and Libya. They are likely to pose a security threat on their return. There’s also a threat from individuals who may have been inspired by terrorist groups, including Daesh, to carry out so called ‘lone actor’ attacks targeting public places including where foreigners may gather.”
On Monday, Sayfydeen Aslam Del Vecchio, 38, and Fatima Patel, 27, briefly appeared at the Vryheid Magistrate Court after they were arrested by the Hawks in Durban for their possible involvement in the kidnapping of two British nationals on February 12. The kidnapping was suspected to have been taken place near Bivane dam, Vryheid in KwaZulu-Natal.
The pair face charges of kidnapping and robbery, as well as charges related to arson after they were accused of setting alight several hectares of cane fields in 2017 worth R2 million at Tongaat-Hulett plantations.
They are expected to appear again on March 1 for a formal application.
– Additional reporting CNS News