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S/Africa: Diplomats expelled for flouting diplomatic privileges – Official

South Africa has declared diplomats from Malawi and Lesotho as “persona non-grata,” ordering them and their families to leave the…

South Africa has declared diplomats from Malawi and Lesotho as “persona non-grata,” ordering them and their families to leave the country by Monday for abusing their diplomatic privileges after the envoys were caught illegally selling duty-free alcohol, a senior official has confirmed.Head of Public Diplomacy in the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation, Clayson Monyela said that “several diplomats accredited to South Africa have been declared persona non-grata following an investigation into their flouting of diplomatic privileges.”

“This relates to illicit trade in duty-free alcohol. This action (of expelling the diplomats) is in line with the Vienna Convention of 1961,” Monyela said on Saturday.

He said there were more diplomats set for expulsions, apart from those of Malawi and Lesotho, as the South African authorities were still continuing with investigations into the malpractice.

“There’s more. Watch this space. More expulsions to follow,” he said, as he declined to reveal details of the remaining diplomats still under probe.

All the diplomats and their families who were declared persona non-grata were given 72 hours to return home following “an intensive investigation into their flouting of diplomatic privileges,” Monyela said.

The expelled envoys were expected to relinquish their diplomatic status by returning all the necessary diplomatic tools to the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation, he said. 

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