01 June 2021 - NW1379
Msane, Ms TP to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation
What engagements has she had with her American counterpart to ensure that the death of Lindani Myeni in Hawaii in the United States of America is investigated thoroughly?
Subsequent to the killing of Mr Lindani Myeni in Hawaii on 14 April 2021, the Department fulfilled its obligation by rendering the necessary consular assistance to the surviving spouse and the family of Mr Myeni in order to ensure the timely return of his mortal remains to South Africa and to follow up on related matters.
Upon learning about the death of Mr Myeni, the Consul-General in Los Angeles immediately informed the South African Ambassador in Washington DC. The Consulate then liaised with the Consular division at the Department to request guidance on the type of assistance that should be rendered by the Mission, after which the Consul-General liaised with Mrs Myeni to brief her accordingly.
The Consulate further communicated with the regional Office of Foreign Missions (OFM) to request a police report, including the return of the personal belongings of Mr Myeni from the Honululu Police Department (HPD). Following a delay in the return of Mr Myeni’s personal belongings by the HPD, the Mission liaised with Mrs Myeni’s attorney and also requested the intervention of the Embassy in Washington regarding this matter. The Embassy forwarded a Diplomatic Note to the State Department on 18 April 2021, in which the serious concerns of the South African Government around the circumstances of the killing of Mr Myeni was conveyed, including a request for full transparency and the release of all available information, including the 911 call that precipitated the shooting.
The South African Ambassador in Washington subsequently had a telecon with the Deputy Assisstant Secretary (DAS) in the Bureau for African Affairs in the State Department who offered his assistance to the Embassy, including to liaise with the City of Honolulu.
The Consul-General in Los Angeles was also in contact with the funeral home where Mr Myeni’s mortal remains were being kept in order to process the required documentation to obtain the death certificate to facilitate the repatriation of Mr Myeni’s remains. The Consular division at Head Office liaised with the Department of Health to process the required import permit and the Consul-General further liaised with the Provincial Government in Kwa-Zulu Natal to update them on the status of the processes underway to return the remains of Mr Myeni. The mortal remains of Mr Myeni arrived in South Africa on 30 April 2021, where it was received by the family and representatives from the Department and the Government.
The Department also conveyed to the US Embassy in Pretoria the concerns of the Government about the lack of a comprehensive report on the circumstances that led to the death of Mr Myeni and the utterances by the Mayor of Honolulu that the police had acted correctly. A request was made that the State Department should intervene to obtain a report as soon as possible and that the personal belongings of Mr Myeni should be returned to the family. A follow up request was later made to the US Embassy for Mr Myeni’s belongings, inluding his mobile phone, to be returned to his family without further delay.
As of 25 May 2021, the Consul-General in Los Angeles reported that the requested police report was still outstanding. The lawyers of Mrs Myeni undertook to inform the Consul-General once there are new developments on the matter.