South Africa’s ruling party has accused U.S. diplomats of “irregular activities,” claiming that Washington is trying to foment regime change inside the country.
A spokesman for the African National Congress on Sunday called on the U.S. government to clarify the activities of some of its diplomats.
“There seems to be irregular activities coming from the U.S. Embassy,” said Keith Khoza. 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. was planning regime change in South Africa, similar to the Arab Spring.
Speaking on Friday at a march for non-racialism in the capital Pretoria, Mantashe said “regime change elements” similar to those in Libya and Egypt had 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 were 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 US 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.”
The ambassador made light of the accusations — likening the suggestion that the U.S. was sponsoring regime change across the globe to an Oprah Winfrey Show giveaway.
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