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Archive for South Africa

Newsline: Former South African ambassador found guilty of hate speech

The South Gauteng High Court ordered former South African ambassador to Uganda Jon Qwelane to apologise to the gay community for his 2008 newspaper column which the court found to be harmful. Judge Dimpheletse Seun Moshidi found Qwelane guilty of hate speech emanating from a column he penned in 2008 while working as a journalist. ”The offending statements made against the LGBTIQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Questioning) community are declared by this court to be hurtful, inciting harm, propagating hatred as envisaged in Section 10 of the Promotion of Equality and Unfair Prevention of Discrimination Act of 2000. The applicant is ordered to tender to the LGBTIQ community an unconditional apology within 30 days, or another period as parties may agree upon,” Moshidi said. ”The apology shall be published in one edition of the Sunday Sun newspaper or publication of the same circulation as a Sunday newspaper in order to receive the same publicity as the offending statements. Proof of the publication of such apology shall be furnished to this court immediately thereafter.” The self-confessed homophobe was also ordered to pay the legal costs for the long-running case, including the postponements. Moshidi further dismissed Qwelane’s constitutional challenge of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act hate speech clause, which Qwelane said was ”vague and too broad.” The column, titled “Call me names, but gay is not ok” was published in the Sunday Sun newspaper, and drew widespread criticism from activists who accused Qwelane of promoting hate speech. It was accompanied by a cartoon that portrayed homosexuality as bestiality.

https://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/former-sa-diplomat-jon-qwelane-found-guilty-of-hate-speech-10848983

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Newsline: South Africa to downgrade embassy in Israel

The ANC national policy conference has adopted a policy recommendation made by the ANC in the Western Cape to downgrade the South African embassy in Israel to a liaison office in a bid to reduce diplomatic ties to Israel. On Tuesday, the NPC adopted the downgrade recommendation and it is set to be ratified in December at the ANC’s elective conference. The resolution on the downgrade reads: “The commission called for the downgrading of the SA Embassy in Israel to send a strong message about Israel’s continued illegal occupation of Palestine and the continued human rights abuses against the peoples of Palestine”. The ANC Western Cape made the recommendation because it says Israel has continued to treat Palestine with violence instead of attempting to reach a peace agreement. The Palestinian government has backed a two-state solution which would mean that both Israel and Palestine are recognised as sovereign states. Israel, meanwhile, has refused to endorse a two-state solution. The ANC has also supported a two-state solution. While the ANC NPC has adopted the policy recommendation, the party’s national conference in December will still have to approve the resolution before it is final and government can implement it. The government will continue to have diplomatic relations with Israel, however, because the Israeli embassy in South Africa will continue to be active.

https://mg.co.za/article/2017-07-05-anc-to-downgrade-south-african-embassy-in-israel

Newsline: Zimbabweans in South Africa Storm Embassy in Pretoria to Demand Voting Rights

Scores of Zimbabweans living in South Africa stormed the Zimbabwean embassy in Pretoria, demanding the right to vote in the 2018 general elections, reports said. According to News Day, the protesters first gathered at the Union Buildings before proceeding to the Zimbabwean embassy to present their petition. Reports late last year indicated that Zimbabwe’s three million or so diasporans were most certainly not going to be allowed to vote in the upcoming elections unless they came home twice – once to register and then again to vote.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201706280535.html

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.

http://bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-national-byo-111021.html

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.

http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/russia-denies-underworld-ties-to-cape-town-20170418

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.

https://www.nigeriatoday.ng/2017/03/xenophobia-nigerians-storm-south-africa-embassy-demand-suspension-of-ambassador/

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.

https://businesstech.co.za/news/business/156980/sa-diplomats-behaving-badly-abroad/