Diplomats behaving badly: SA-based official spent R36 MILLION on booze!
We expect better from unruly teenagers, let alone international diplomats - but one particularly rowdy official has racked up a massive bill.
We hate to sound like one of the bad guys from Lethal Weapon here, but it’s safe to say these officials can kiss goodbye to their ‘diplomatic immunity’ – which looks to have been ‘revoked’. A group of diplomats has now been ejected from South Africa, after they ran an elaborate illegal booze ring, selling duty-free alcohol on for a profit.
Who are the diplomats banned for their boozing?
Last Thursday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Relations said that it has learnt – with embarrassment – that several Basotho diplomats serving in the Johannesburg Consulate had been declared Personas Non-Grata (which means an unacceptable or unwelcome person) by the SA government, due to their liquor laundering.
A group from Lesotho was the first to be sent packing, before a Malawian cohort was also caught out. It is alleged that the diplomats abused their privileges in the same manner. Furthermore, those diplomats serving in the Consulate in Johannesburg were given 72 hours to leave South Africa.
The official who spent R36 million on liquor
Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) spokesperson Clayson Monyela spoke to Power FM about the terrible behaviour witnessed amongst our democratic officials. Some of them even RAN THEIR OWN BARS, thanks to the amount of ale they’d accumulated and sold on at a marked-up price.
However, the real villain of the piece is the one diplomat who splurged R36 MILLION on duty-free alcohol. The figure had been so confident in this operation, he was happy to act without impunity – until the long arm of Dirco was extended.
“Some of the diplomats involved would resell this alcohol to shebeens, taverns, bars, and other retailers. Some of them actually ran their own shebeens and taverns. In one instance, there is one particular diplomat that spent about R36 million in three months on duty-free alcohol – this resulted in a R100 million per month loss.”
“This extensive investigation covers several years, so this is a practice that people have been involved in for a number of years. They probably thought they could get away with it, because they have been doing it for so long.”
- ALSO READ: SA diplomats behaving badly: DIRCO lumped with R10m bill for ‘property damage’