Ambassador designates to undergo training

Monday, August 3, 2009

Pretoria - Ambassador designates, former Minister of Social Development Zola Skweyiya, former Correctional Services Minister Ngconde Balfour and former Leader of the Democratic Alliance Tony Leon are to undergo diplomatic training.

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation announced on Monday that the three will undergo diplomatic training in preparation for future deployment in the diplomatic corps.

"The diplomatic training will capacitate the ambassador designates with the prerequisite skills required to run a mission.

"The training takes into cognisance that the Ambassador designates are seasoned politicians in our government system with a wealth of experience in the functioning of government, albeit from opposite political benches," the department said.

Diplomatic protocol requires that Ambassador designates receive official confirmation of their acceptance by the receiving state before their deployment. "Currently, this process is still in motion," the department said.

Last week, Director General Ayanda Ntsaluba said the department could not make any confirmation regarding deployments.

"The reason we would elect not to go that route now, not to make any confirmations now, of course we have to be respectful to the countries that we have approached seeking agreement, so we tend to be a bit conscious about that," said Dr Ntsaluba.

He said South Africa had to wait for the particular country to confirm; adding that on Monday the department would have made formal announcements on this.

According to the department, only once confirmed, President Jacob Zuma upon recommendation by department Minister Maite Nkoana - Mashabane would make the final decision at an appropriate time with regards to their confirmation as South African representatives.