How McBride spy saga in Mozambique weakened SADC’s trust in SA
A deeper dig into the whistleblower activity that led to Robert McBride’s suspension
The world of espionage is murky at the best of times. The recent ‘arrest’ of SA State Security Agency (SSA) operatives in Mozambique, and the subsequent suspension of SSA foreign branch chief Robert McBride, reveals a truth far stranger than fiction. ERIKA GIBSON sheds some light on a bizarre tale.
Two weeks ago the details of a “doomed” SSA operation was published in City Press and other news platforms. In essence, it came down to four SSA operatives being arrested – with drones – and held in Mozambique for nine days. It was claimed that the operation was not sanctioned by the SSA, SA or the Mozambican authorities.
They were gathering intelligence in Cabo Delgado in northern Mozambique, where armed extremist militias have executed a reign of terror over the past four years. The attacks peaked in March 2021 when hundreds of expats – including South Africans – were trapped in Palma. Most of them were in the construction sector, working for the Total gas plant in Afungi near Palma...