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Zimbabwe to free South African spy

South African Intelligence Minister Ronnie Kasrils has left for Zimbabwe on a mission to free a South African spy.

The man, Aubrey Welken, was arrested a year ago and accused of spying on senior members of the governing party for the South African government.Both men are

due to return to South Africa on Tuesday.

Shortly after Welken’s arrest, six members of the governing party, Zanu-PF, were accused of spying on behalf of the South African government.

Five were arrested – three received jail sentences, one is awaiting trial and one was acquitted.

The sixth is reported to have evaded capture.

Welken was arrested in the western Zimbabwean resort town of Victoria Falls in December last year, after being lured into a trap by agents of Zimbabwe’s Central Intelligence Organisation.

Observers say the spy scandal was an attempt by President Mbeki to keep close watch over the internal workings of Zanu-PF, and to influence its future direction.

Last month, South Africa and Zimbabwe signed an accord on co-operation in the area of intelligence. – BBC Online

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