SA meets with country reps to resolve diplomatic faux pas

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) has met with the country representatives of Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands and the United States of America, where an agreement was reached for the proper channels and protocols to be used for all diplomatic communications.

The agreement came following a démarche by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu, accompanied by the department’s Director General Kgabo Mahoai and Yolisa Maya, the Deputy Director General.

The démarche was to express South Africa’s displeasure that the Heads of Mission of the five countries did not follow established diplomatic channels when communicating to the South African government.

Weekend media reports suggested that the five states had dispatched a Memorandum to the Office of The Presidency calling for the prosecution of all those implicated in corruption.

The memorandum reportedly warned that President Cyril Ramaphosa's international investment drive could be scuppered by failure to act against perpetrators of State capture and corruption.

“The Heads of the Diplomatic Missions regretted the misunderstanding and further clarified that the discussion paper had been sent to The Presidency to contribute to the dialogue on how South Africa can attract more foreign direct investment.

“The meeting concluded by agreeing that in future, proper diplomatic channels and protocols will be followed in all diplomatic communications,” DIRCO said in a statement.

The Heads of the Diplomatic Missions also reiterated their commitment to working actively in support of South Africa’s investment drive. –