South Africa asked the British government Monday to “take strong and visible action” over allegations that Britain spied on its delegation to a 2009 G20 summit in London.
“We have solid, strong and cordial relations with the United Kingdom and would call on their government to investigate this matter fully with a view to take strong and visible action against any perpetrators,” the South African foreign ministry said.
The call came after The Guardian newspaper reported Monday that documents leaked by US former spy Edward Snowden appear to show that Britain spied on G20 delegates from South Africa as well as Turkey and Russia.
“We do not yet have the full benefit of details reported on, but in principle we would condemn the abuse of privacy and basic human rights, particularly if it emanates from those who claim to be democrats,” Pretoria said in a statement.
The revelations by Snowden, a former CIA agent and analyst for the US National Security Agency, come as Britain is hosting the two-day G8 summit in Northern Ireland — the biggest gathering of international leaders since the G20 four years ago.