McBride 'acted on his own'


Cape Town - The South African government distanced itself yesterday from the senior foreign affairs official, Mr Robert McBride, arrested in Mozambique on suspicion of gun-running, saying he had acted on his own.

The Security Minister, Mr Sydney Mufamadi, told parliament that Mr McBride "did not engage in any activities in Mozambique which were authorised or carried out at the behest of any structure of the South African government, including the intelligence services".

Mr McBride, a descendent of the executed 1916 leader, John MacBride, was suspended from his post as director of the East Asia desk of the foreign ministry on Tuesday due to the seriousness o claim against him, including one that he was involved in arms deals with Irish republicans.

He is being held in a maximum security prison on the outskirts of the Mozambican Capital Maputo, after being arrested last Monday week at the small border town of Ressano Garcia.