SA’s Ambassadorial embarrassments need to end

Issued by Mergan Chetty MP – DA Shadow Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation
21 Sep 2023 in News

The news of the allegations that the wife of Ambassador Smuts Ngonyama, has assaulted their domestic worker, is the latest in a long line of international scandals that have plagued SA missions abroad. The alleged incident occurred on 14 July 2023 at their Tokyo residence.

The DA has previously raised concerns regarding the Diplomatic training for diplomats that are appointed and that the current system must be revised to include spousal training as well.

The fact that senior members of the Department were made aware of these allegations two months ago and chose not to make the portfolio committee aware of what are essentially very serious allegations is not acceptable.

The assigning of some ambassadorial posts has, in our opinion, become yet another level of jobs for pals rather than fit for purpose. We cannot condone a system that puts people in posts around the world as rewards or even punishments by their political masters. It is no secret that following every national election a group of cadres are recycled through the diplomatic community at the whim of politicians. We have always maintained that the appointment of ambassadors should be the responsibility of Parliament and not the President to prevent party cronyism appointments.

The DA will be writing to the Minister for a thorough investigation into the allegations of assault against the Ambassador’s domestic worker and that this matter is not swept under the table.