Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for South Africa

Newsline: South African embassy staff accused of bribery in Zimbabwe

Zimbabweans seeking work or study permits in South Africa have called for the censure of two South African embassy officials, whom they accuse of demanding bribes to process their permits. The two were identified as Mrs Grace Segkole and a Mr Malebogo. Some of the victims of the alleged corruption, who spoke to The Herald said the two officials should either be reassigned or relieved of their duties.


Newsline: Russian Embassy in South Africa denies underworld ties to Cape Town

The Russian Embassy in South Africa has denied that 25 men have been brought into Cape Town to bolster a faction of the underworld, intent on taking over club security. News24 earlier this month reported that several sources had said that a change in visa regulations between Russia and South Africa may have spurred a massive underworld coup, and that Eastern European men had been brought into the country as part of this. The nightclub security takeover was carried out in the early hours of March 31, the day after visa-free travel was introduced between Russia and South Africa. It is understood this is under investigation by the authorities. Well-placed sources said Russian men had been brought into the country. However, in a statement issued via Twitter, the Russian Embassy in South Africa denied this. “Even in terms of geography, unnamed citizens of Eastern Europe and Ukraine, either real or imaginary, come from Eastern Europe and Ukraine, and visa regulations between the Russian Federation and the Republic of South Africa cannot be applied to them. The embassy labelled the News24 article as “fake news”. Several well-placed sources told News24 that those recently brought into the country were guided by a Ukrainian businessman based in Cape Town, allegedly with close ties to the underworld. Previously Yuri “the Russian” Ulianitski, who was referred to as “the Russian”, but who was Ukrainian, and who was killed in Milnerton in 2007, had run a bouncer racket in Cape Town.


Newsline: Nigerians Storm South Africa Embassy, Demand Suspension Of Ambassador

Nigerians, under the aegis of Advocates for Collective Transformation and Youth Empowerment Initiative, took the protest against attacks on Nigerians in South Africa to the country’s Embassy on Molade Okoya Thomas Street, Victoria Island, Lagos State. The protesters, who were mostly youths, occupied the frontage of the embassy, singing solidarity songs. Expressing their displeasure at the destruction and looting of business ventures owned by Nigerians in South Africa, they called on the Federal Government to shut down the South African high commission offices in the country. They also demanded that the government suspended the South African ambassador to Nigeria and other officials until the safety of Nigerians in South Africa could be guaranteed. Some persons, believed to be officials of the embassy, observed the protest from the barred gate of the embassy and took some photos.


Newsline: South Africa’s diplomats behaving badly abroad

A list of eight foreign-based diplomats are under investigation by the State Security Agency after they were convicted of various offences – including a case of culpable homicide. According to a report by the Sunday Independent, the investigation will decide if the Department of International Relations and Co-operation should withdraw the security clearance of the diplomats before they could be expelled. Former ANC chief whip, Stone Sizani, who was redeployed to the position of South Africa’s ambassador to Germany less than a year ago, is among those in hot water, having been found guilty of public violence and violating the Value Added Tax Act, the paper reported. Ambassador to Israel Sisa Ngombane, meanwhile was arrested after attending a prohibited gathering, and diplomat Mthembisi Mjikeliso was convicted for culpable homicide in Botswana, the article said. The Sunday Independent also reported that political counsellor in Bulgaria, BP Motloung, was arrested for reckless and negligent driving in Sofia, while P Mukeni is also under investigation due to a similar offense. In a recent written reply in Parliament, International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said no decision had been taken on the future of these diplomats.


Newsline: Arrest Made in Connection with Murder of Moroccan Diplomat in South Africa

Following ambiguous circumstances surrounding the recent assassination of Fatmi Noureddine, an officer in charge of consular affairs at the Moroccan Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa, the Pretorian police arrested a man in connection with the murder last week of the Moroccan diplomat. According to the South African website Timeslive, the police arrested a Zimbabwean at his Monument Park home, close to the murder scene. The Moroccan diplomat was found lying in a pool of blood at his Pretoria home on Tuesday. “The suspect was found with a watch, a camera and a cellphone and other items linking him to the murder,”according to Timeslive. In his possession also were “passports of at least 30 people, as well as several photographs, and passport and visa applications.”


Newsline: Nigeria to Summon South African Ambassador to Over Arms Deal

There are strong indications that the Federal Government may summon the South African Ambassador to Nigeria, Lulu Mnguni, over the botched arms deal which led to the seizure of millions of dollars meant for the purchase of military hardware. It was learnt that some senior officials met on Wednesday in Abuja where they decided that the time was ripe for Nigeria to address frontally the embarrassing blockage of the arms deal by South Africa. The South African authorities had confiscated $9.5m and $7.5m meant for purchase of arms by Nigeria in two separate incidents, on the guise that the deals did not conform to due process, according to its laws. It was decided that the Ambassador should be summoned to explain Pretoria’s rationale for its action against Nigeria, in view of the various political and economic benefits South Africa had enjoyed from her relationship with the Federal Government.


Newsline: Theft suspected motive behind Moroccan diplomat’s murder in South Africa

Theft is suspected to be the motive in the death of a Moroccan diplomat whose body was found in a pool of blood at his guesthouse in Pretoria. Colleagues at the Moroccan embassy say they investigated after the normally punctual Fatmi Noureddine failed to arrive for work. Noureddine’s body was found in a pool of blood at his guesthouse on Tuesday. Officials say an autopsy is currently underway to determine the cause of his death. A cellphone is missing from his room but Moroccan diplomats say they don’t know if Noureddine was in possession of a large sum of money. Morocco hasn’t had an ambassador in South Africa for a decade. It withdrew its chief representative in protest against Pretoria establishing diplomatic relations with the Western Sahara that Morocco has occupied in defiance of the international community since 1975. Earlier this year, Rwanda’s former head of external intelligence Patrick Karegeya was found murdered in his hotel room in Sandton.