Questions and Replies

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13 December 2017 - NW1880

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Mkhaliphi, Ms HO to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

Whether (a) her department and (b) each entity reporting to her appointed transaction advisors for tenders in the period 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2016; if so, (i) who were the transaction advisors that were appointed for the tenders, (ii) for which tenders were they appointed, (iii) what was the pricing for the tenders in question and (iv) what amount were the transaction advisors paid?

Reply:

The Department International Relations and Cooperation has not appointed any transaction advisors for tenders in the period 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2016.

UNQUOTE.

11 December 2017 - NW2632

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Kalyan, Ms SV to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

Was the flight that (a) arrived at Waterkloof Air Force Base from Harare on or about 16 August 2017 and (b) departed from Waterkloof Air Force Base to Harare on or about 20 August 2017 granted an RSA05 clearance; if so (c) who approved the clearance and (d) on what basis was the clearance done NATIONAL ASSEMBLY FOR WRITTEN REPLY QUESTION NO:2632 DATE OF QUESTION PAPER: 1 SEPTEMBER 2017 PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO: 31 OF 2017 REPLY: Ms S V Kalyan (DA) asked the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation the following questions regarding the Zimbabwean aircraft that visited South Africa between 16 and 20 August 2017. Was the flight that (a) arrived at Waterkloof Air Force Base from Harare on or about 16 August 2017 and (b) departed from Waterkloof Air Force Base to Harare on or about 20 August 2017 granted an RSA05 clearance; if so (c) who approved the clearance and (d) on what basis was the clearance done? Yes Yes Department of Defence The aircraft was transporting a Head of State UNQUOTE

Reply:

  1. Yes
  2. Yes
  3. Department of Defence
  4. The aircraft was transporting a Head of State

UNQUOTE

11 December 2017 - NW2848

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Mokgalapa, Mr S to ask the Mr S Mokgalapa (DA) to ask Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

1)Wether her Department has decided how it will facilitate prison exchange programmes; If not, why not; if so what are the relevant details (2)Wether she will make a statement on the details of the meeting held in Gaborone, Republic of Botswana, to discuss the specified programmes?

Reply:

(1)The mandate of concluding Prisoner Transfer Agreements is vested with the Department of Correctional Services.

(2)The Department is not aware of such a meeting. The question should be directed to the Department of Correctional Services.

UNQUOTE

11 December 2017 - NW2573

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Mkhaliphi, Ms HO to ask the MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

When are the application dates? (a) Opening and (b) Closing for the board positions of all entities and councils reporting to her?

Reply:

(a) and (b) There are no application since the African Renaissance and International Cooperation Fund (ARF) does not have a board. However, in terms of the ARF Act 51 of 2000, Section 5. (1) it states that “the Minister must, in consultation with the Minister of Finance, establish an Advisory Committee consisting of the following members—

(a) the Director-General or the delegate of the Director-General;

(b) three officers of the Department appointed by the Minister; and

(c) two officers of the Department of Finance appointed by the Minister of Finance”.

 

UNQUOTE

11 December 2017 - NW2849

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Mokgalapa, Mr S to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

(1)Wether she will provide details of a certain prisoner (name furnished) who is being held in Malaysia, and (2) At what stage are the prisoner transfer agreements?

Reply:

(1)The Department has not been authorised by the prisoner to divulge information on her case.

(2)The mandate of concluding Prisoner Transfer Agreements is vested with the Department of Correctional Services.The Department of International Relations and Cooperation is not aware of any Prisoner Transfer Agreement(and programmes) that has been concluded with any country or countries.

UNQUOTE

07 December 2017 - NW3708

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Mokgalapa, Mr S to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

Have the recommendations of the (a) Charles Nupen report and or (b) Cheadle and Thompson report been implemented; if so, provide details; if not, why not?

Reply:

The reply to the question is as follows:

Quote:

( a) The Charles Nupen report and recommendations were implemented with the involvement of stakeholders. The Departmental Task Team under the Deparmental Bargaining Chamber endorsed the implementation thereof.

(b) The Cheadle and Thompson report and recommendations were partly implemented, whereas some of the recommedations are in the process to be finalised by Management.

Unquote:

07 December 2017 - NW2847

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Kalyan, Ms SV to ask the MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

(1) Is Dr Riek Machar being hosted as a guest of the State; if so, (a) for what period will the specified person be hosted as a guest of the State and (b) what are the conditions, if any, of his stay; (2) Is the specified person’s communication with any (a) of his former advisors and/or (b) leaders of other international bodies is being monitored; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details in each case; (3) whether the specified person is perceived as a threat to the national security of the specified person’s home country; if so, what are the relevant details? NW3154E

Reply:

1. Yes, Dr Riek Machar is hosted as a guest of the State.

a) At this stage the duration of Dr Riek Machar’s stay in South Africa is not known. Dr Machar came to South Africa on humanitarian grounds following consultations with the Government of the Republic of South Sudan and the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

b) The conditions of Dr Machar’s stay in South Africa are that he may not engage in any activity that would contribute to the escalation of conflict in South Sudan.

2. Dr Machar’s communication is not monitored.

3. It has to be noted that there is conflict in South Sudan between government forces and the opposition armed rebel factions, including the armed rebel group led by Dr Machar. The African Union and the region through IGAD, are assisting the Republic of South Sudan to resolve the conflict.

UNQUOTE

06 December 2017 - NW3442

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Mkhaliphi, Ms HO to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

How many officials and/or employees in her department were granted permission to have business and/or do business dealings in the past three financial years; (2) are any of the officials and/or employees that have permission to have businesses and/or do business dealings doing business with the Government; if so, (a) what was the purpose of each business transaction, (b) when did each business transation occur and (c) what was the value of each business transaction?

Reply:

  1. For the period in question a total of 52 permissions were granted.
  2. No.

UNQUOTE

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The Public Service Regulations, 2016 which came into effect in August 2016 provided that no Government employee is allowed to conduct business with an organ of state, unless it is in an official capacity.

 

The DPSA made certain exceptions such as lecturing, training, teaching at public educational institutions, appointment to an audit committee, activities undertaken as part of continued professional development, etc.

The DPSA sent a circular to that effect where officials that did conduct business with an organ of state had to:

By 31 January 2017, all employees who are conducting busness with an organ of state either resign as employees; or submit proof to the HOD that the employee has ceased conducting business with an organ of state; or has resigned as a director of a company that conducts business with an organ of state.

05 December 2017 - NW3710

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Kalyan, Ms SV to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

(a)What steps is South Africa taking to facilitate the peaceful resolution of the political impasse in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and (b)what are the terms of reference for the political dialogue regarding the Democratic Republic of Congo that was facilitated by the former President of Namibia, Mr Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba? NW4143E

Reply:

(a)South Africa’s involvement and engagement in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is guided by the Southern African Development Community (SADC). In this regard, SADC has urged all the stakeholders to refrain from actions that would undermine the political and security stability in the country. On 15th October 2017

HE President Jacob Zuma paid a working visit to the President of the DRC, HE Joseph Kabila, to emphasise the importance of ensuring the elections take place and securing peace and stability in the region.

(b) HE President Jacob Zuma, in his capacity as Chair of SADC, after consultation with outgoing Chair of SADC, in line with the decision of the SADC Summit, appointed former President of Namibia, HE Mr Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba as the special envoy to the DRC. The special envoy is expected to meet with the DRC

National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) and the United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) at which point he is due to receive an update on preparations for the General,

Presidential, Parliamentary and Provincial Elections.

UNQUOTE

24 November 2017 - NW3304

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Mkhaliphi, Ms HO to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

(1) Whether the (a) chief executive officer and (b) chief financial officer of entities reporting to her are employed on a permanent basis; if not, (2) Whether the specified officers are employed on a fixed term contract; if so, (a) what are the names of each of the officers and (b) when (i) was each officer employed and (ii) will each officer’s contract end?

Reply:

1 (a) Department of International Relations and Cooperation does not have a Chief Executive Officer

(b) The Chief Financial Officer of DIRCO also serves as the Chief Financial Officer of the ARF

2. Not applicable

UNQUOTE

07 September 2017 - NW2469

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Alberts, Mr ADW to ask the MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION:

What are the exact policy and legal grounds on which she relied to grant diplomatic immunity to Mrs Grace Mugabe? NW2726E

Reply:

The Democratic Alliance instituted review proceedings in the Pretoria High Court and the Constitutional Court against the Government. The matter is therefore sub-judice.

07 September 2017 - NW2509

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Mbhele, Mr ZN to ask the MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

1) Did her department classify the 37th Southern African Development Community Ordinary Summit, hosted by South Africa from 10-20 August 2017 in Pretoria in terms of section 6(2) of the Diplomatic Immunities and Privileges Act, Act 37 of 2001; if so (a) when and (b) where was it gazetted; (2) did her department confer immunity on any person attending the specified summit in terms of section 7(2) of the specified Act; if so, in each case (a) what are the full particulars of the individual concerned and (b)(i) when and (ii) where was it gazetted?

Reply:

(1) NO

(a) N/A

(b); N/A

(2) NO

(a) N/A

(b)(i) N/A

(ii) N/A

04 September 2017 - NW2366

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Groenewald, Dr PJ to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

(1) What is the Government’s policy regarding South African citizens who are taken hostage (a) inside the country and (b) abroad; (2) Whether the Government has to date paid any ransom directly or indirectly for the release of South African citizens; if so, (a) in which cases, (b) what was the ransom in each case and (c)(i) to whom was the payment made and (ii) who made the payment; (3) whether she has been informed of any ransom that has been paid to date by any other entity and/or persons for the release of South African citizens; if so, (a) in which cases (b) what was the ransom in each case and (c)(i) to whom was the payment made and (ii) who made the payment; 4) whether she will make a statement on the matter?

Reply:

1. The position of the Government of the Republic of South Africa is that no ransom is paid for South African citizens taken hostage.

2. No, the Government has to date not paid any ransom directly or indirectly for the release of South African citizens.

3. No, the Minister has not been informed of any ransom that has been paid to date by any other entity and/or persons for the release of South African citizens.

4. The Minister will have no objection to making a statement on the matter.

04 September 2017 - NW2069

MS H O HLOPHE (EFF) TO ASK THE MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION to ask the MS H O HLOPHE (EFF) TO ASK THE MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

(1) Whether (a) her department and/or (b) any entities reporting to her are funding, including by way of discretionary funding, any institution of research and development (i) domestically and/or (ii) internationally; if so, (aa)(aaa) what are the names of the specified institutions and (bbb) what are their functions, (bb) from what date has her department or any entity reporting to her been funding them and (cc) what amount has her department contributed towards such funding?

Reply:

(a) and (b) No, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) nor the entity, the African Renaissance and International Cooperation fund (ARF) reporting to her are not funding any institution of research and development.

(i) None

(aa)(aaa) None

(bbb) Not applicable

(ii) None

(bb) None

(cc) None

04 September 2017 - NW881

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Mokgalapa, Mr S to ask the MNISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

a) What amount did the event and workshop on 23 March 2017 of the Southern African Liaison Office entitled: Dialogue on Major South African Foreign Policy Trends and Issues of 2017, cost her department? b) Under which mandate was the money spent? NW947E.

Reply:

a) The Department of International Relations and Cooperation did not co-ordinate or partner with the Southern African Liaison Office to host this event and did not spend any money on the workshop entitled: Dialogue on Major South African Foreign Policy Trends and Issues of 2017

b) Not applicable.

28 August 2017 - NW1760

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Matsepe, Mr CD to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

Does (a) she, (b) her Deputy Ministers or (c) any of the heads of entities or bodies reporting to her make use of security services paid for by the State for (i) him/herself, (ii) his/her immediate family members or (iii) any of their staff members; in each case (aa) what are the reasons for it, (bb) from which department or entity’s budget is the security services being paid, and (cc) what are the relevant details?

Reply:

(a) (i) Yes.

(ii) No.

(iii) No.

(aa) The Ministerial handbook, Chapter 5, outlines that the South African Police Services (SAPS) is responsible for financial implications in terms of SAPS security services allocated to Executive members.

(bb) The SAPS.

(cc) see answer in aa above.

(i) Yes.

(ii) No.

(iii) No.

(aa) The Ministerial handbook, Chapter 5, outlines that the South African Police Services (SAPS) is responsible for financial implications in terms of SAPS security services allocated to Executive members.

(bb) The SAPS.

(cc) see answer in (b) aa above.

(c) . No.

(i)N/A

(ii) N/A

(iii) N/A

(aa) N/A

(bb) N/A

(cc) N/A

10 August 2017 - NW1791

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Mkhaliphi, Ms HO to ask the MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

(1)Which entities reporting to her (a) have a board in place and (b) do not have a board in place, (i) of those that have a board, (aa) when was each individual board member appointed and (bb) when is the term for each board lapsing and (ii) how many (aa) board members are there in each board and (bb) of those board members of each entity are female NW1999E

Reply:

(1) African Renaissance and International Cooperation Fund (a) No, it does not have a board. In terms of the ARF ACT 51 OF 2000 6(3), the Director General is the Accounting Officer of the Fund in terms of the Public Finance Management Act, 1999 (Act No.1 of 1999).

(2) with reference to entities that do not have boards in place,

(a) who is responsible for appointing the board and (b) when will a board be appointed?

REPLY:

There is no Board. In terms of the ARF Act 51 of 2000 6(3), the Director General is the Accounting Officer of the Fund in terms of the Public Finance Management Act, 1999 (Act No.1 of 1999).

 

31 July 2017 - NW1607

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Mkhaliphi, Ms HO to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

What is the position of her department on the current genocide carried out on the people of West Papua by the Indonesian government

Reply:

The South African Government was not aware of any genocide on Indonesian territory. The Department of International Relations and Cooperation will continue to monitor developments in this regard. The issue was not on the agenda of the 34th Session of the Human Rights Council in March 2017.

31 July 2017 - NW1725

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Kalyan, Ms SV to ask the MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

Whether any staff of (a) her department and (b) each entity reporting to her were awarded any contracts or agreements to conduct business with any state entity in the (i) 2014-15 (ii) 2015-16 and (iii) 2016-17 financial years; if so, what are the (aa)(aaa) names and (bbb) professional designations of the staff members and (bb)(aaa) details of the contract(s) and/or agreement(s) awarded and (bbb) amounts in each case?

Reply:

(a)(b) Yes, the Department received a list of names of officials conducting business with organs of state from the Department of Public Service and Administration. The Department is currently conducting an investigation whether the officials have disclosed their interests and whether they have resigned as a directors of the companies or ceased conducting business with the organ of state.

(aa)(aaa)Name

(bbb)Designation

CJ Smidt

Ambassador

CS Machaba

Clerk

ME Kobe

Administration Officer

FS Magubane

Ambassador

SG Ntanzi

Foreign Service Officer

TM Mogorosi

ICT 1st Secretary

SE Mcinziba

Assistant-Director

LS Ngonyama

Ambassador

BA Mfengwana

Assistant-Director

MB Dombo

Assistant-Director

L Mancoba

Foreign Service Officer

(bb) (aaa) and (bbb) The investigation is ongoing and further details are not available- will be made available as we progress following legal prescripts.

31 July 2017 - NW428

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Mokgalapa, Mr S to ask the MINISTER OF THE DEPARTMENT INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

(1) (a) How many South Africans have travelled to Syria since January 2016 and (b) what was the stated purpose of each trip; (2) how many South Africans are still in Syria; (3) (a) how many South Africans have died in Syria in the past three years and (b) what was the cause of death in each case?

Reply:

1. (a) According to the Syrian Embassy in South Africa, during the period under discussions, 27 South Africans visited Syria;

(b) Fourteen (14) government officials, eight (8) individuals attended a wedding, two (2) visited relatives, two (2) agricultural and technical experts and one (1) normal visit.

2. According to the South African Embassy in Syria, there are 9 South Africans residing in Syria.

3. (a) From both the South African and Syrian governments, no South African’s has been reported dead.

(b) Not applicable.

UNQUOTE

28 June 2017 - NW587

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Dudley, Ms C to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

(1)Whether her department has been requested to assist 29-year old South African Emlyn Culverwell and his fiancée Iryna Nohai who were arrested in an Abu Dhabi hospital; if so, (a) what is the extent of the assistance that her department can provide in a situation like this and (b) can her department intervene in terms of ensuring that the person’s family members or employers are able to make contact with him; (2) what is her department’s policy with regard to (a) requesting the return of a South African citizen in circumstances where a particular country’s law that has been transgressed is not law in South Africa and (b) the punishment meted out for certain offences (details furnished) under the Sharia-based legal system; (3) will her department assist the couple to appoint legal representation; if so, (a) what has been done or will be done in this regard and (b) what are the further relevant details?

Reply:

1. Yes, the Department was requested to provide consular assistance to Mr Culverwell. His fiancée is not a South African citizen but a citizen of the Ukraine.

(a) In such a situation the relevant South African Diplomatic mission will endeavour to establish and maintain contact with the detainee and also undertake a consular visit at the soonest opportunity and at certain intervals thereafter. Family and friends will be kept updated on the wellbeing of the detainee as per consent of the detainee. The payment of financial assistance for the detainee to buy basic necessities in prison, as deposited by the family, will be facilitated as well as the delivery of letters written by family and friends.

(b) A diplomatic mission abroad can only request that a detainee is allowed the contact with family or an employer as provided for by the local regulations in the receiving State. Detainees in the UAE are permitted to make telephone calls to family members and an employer provided they have sufficient funds. Receiving calls are not permitted.

Visits by family members to detainees are allowed in accordance with local regulations. Mr Culverwell did not raise any complaints to the embassy as to not being allowed to call or to receive visitors.

2. (a) When entering a foreign country a South African national subjects him-/herself to all the laws and regulations of that sovereign country whether or not such laws are similar to South African law or not. The South African Government respects the sovereignity of other countries and will not request the return of a South African national based on the mere fact that the particular offence committed is not regarded as an offence in South Africa.

(b) The punishment meted out for offences in a foreign country is determined by the law and the Courts in that particular country and the South African Government cannot intervene in the Court proceedings and judicial processes in a foreign country.

3. (a) and (b). When a South African is arrested abroad the SA Embassy can provide a list of law firms in the country but the choice and appointment of a particular lawyer rests with the person arrested. The SA Government does not provide funds to cover the legal costs of South Africans arrested abroad. In the case of Mr Culverwell in the UAE, his employer appointed legal representation. Mr Culverwell and his fiancée have since been released from detention, but the case has not finalised yet. Their release is equivalent to a free bail in South African terms. The couple is currently at their place of employment and residing at staff accommodation.

 

28 June 2017 - NW308

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Mokgalapa, Mr S to ask the MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

(1) With reference to the statement of the President of the Republic, Mr Jacob G Zuma, made during the State of the Nation Address on 9 February 2017, that South Africa will continue mediation efforts, peacekeeping operations and peace-making initiatives in the Democratic Republic of Congo, what is the current status of South Africa’s formal involvement in the specified country? (NW327E)

Reply:

  1. South Africa continues to support MONUSCO (United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo) through a deployment of uniformed and other personnel in a multi-dimensional peacekeeping which involves the military, police and the civilian components. MONUSCO’s strategic priorities are to protect civilians, stemming out of violence against women and children perpetuated by armed groups. The current mandate of MONUSCO will expire on 31 March 2017. The UN will provide guidance in terms of the extension of the mandate based on a situational analysis on the ground, particularly in the Eastern DRC and the political developments as the country prepares for the elections by end of 2017.

 

28 June 2017 - NW360

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Topham , Mr B to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

What is the (a) make, (b) model, (c) price and (d) date on which each vehicle was purchased for use by (i) her and (ii) her deputies (aa) in the (aaa) 2014-15 and (bbb) 2015-16 financial years and (bb) since 1 April 2016?

Reply:

i)  With regard to Minister Nkoana-Mashabane, the following:

 

Aaa)

Make

Model

Price

Date

BMW

740i Active Hybrid

R998 137.99

May 2014

Bbb) None

Ccc) None

ii) With regard to Deputy Minister N Mfeketo, the following:

Aaa) None

Bbb) None

ccc)

Make

Model

Price

Date

Mercedes Benz

E250 Avantgarde

R771 570.99

2017

With regard to Deputy Minister L Landers, the following:

Aaa) None

Bbb)

Make

Model

Price

Date

Mercedes Benz

C250 Avantgarde

R506 060.58

2016

ccc) None

Unquote

28 June 2017 - NW427

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Mokgalapa, Mr S to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

How many persons of South Africa’s diplomatic corps have been found guilty of committing any form of crime since her appointment as Minister of International Relations and Cooperation on 11 May 2009, (b) what are the names of the specified employees, (c) what disciplinary steps will be taken against the specified persons and (d) what measures will be implemented to ensure that persons found guilty of committing any crime will not be appointed as diplomats or officials at South Africa’s foreign missions?

Reply:

Quote:

(a) None

Unquote

28 June 2017 - NW456

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Bucwa, Ms H to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

Whether her department procured any services from and/or made any payments to (a) Mr Mzwanele Manyi, (b) the Progressive Professionals Forum, (c) the Decolonisation Fund and/or (d) the Black Business Council; if not, in each case, why not; if so, what (i) services were procured, (ii) was the total cost, (iii) is the detailed breakdown of such costs, (iv) was the total amount paid, (v) was the purpose of the payments and (vi) is the detailed breakdown of such payments in each case?

Reply:

The Department International Relations and Cooperation has not made any payment to:

  1. Mr Mzwanele Manyi,
  2. The Progressive Professionals Forum,
  3. The Decolonisation Fund, and/or
  4. The Black Business Council; because the department did not utilised any services provided by the above mentioned.
  5. Because the Department did not utilise any services provided by the above mentioned.

Unquote.

28 June 2017 - NW488

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Stubbe, Mr DJ to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

What amount has her department billed each government department for using the VIP (a) lounges and (b) services at each of the country’s airports (i) in the (aa) 2013-14, (bb) 2014-15 and (cc) 2015-16 financial years and (ii) since 1 April 2016?

Reply:

a) The Department of International Relations and Cooperation offers the services of the State Protocol Lounges at no cost. Therefore Government Departments were not billed for using the State Protocol Lounges.

b) The State Protocol lounges facilitate the arrivals and departures of all qualifying dignitaries on domestic and international flights.

  1. Not applicable
  2. Not applicable

 

UNQUOTE

Additional information:

In the previous financial years, the State Protocol Lounge facilitated the following number of dignitaries:

2013/2014

OR Tambo International Airport 15 089

Cape Town International Airport 9 525

King Shaka International Airport 3 941

Total 28 282

2014/2015

OR Tambo International Airport 14 799

Cape Town International Airport 9 628

King Shaka International Airport 3 734

Total 28 161

2015/2016

OR Tambo International Airport 12 102

Cape Town International Airport 6 747

King Shaka International Airport 2 927

Total 21 776

01 April 2016 -28 FEBRUARY 2017

OR Tambo International Airport 12 224

Cape Town International Airport 7 267

King Shaka International Airport 3 261

Total 22 752

GRAND TOTAL OVER 4 YEARS 100 971

28 June 2017 - NW784

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Kalyan, Ms SV to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

(1)Whether the use of Government letterheads by a certain official (details furnished) to source income for personal projects is an acceptable practice in her department; if so, on what statutory grounds is it an acceptable practice; if not, (2) Whether an investigation has been launched into the alleged misconduct; if not, (a) why not and (b) by what date will such an investigation be launched; if so, what were the outcomes? NW843E

Reply:

1. The practice of utilising Government letterheads to source income for personal projects is not acceptable in the Public Service,

2. The investigation is currently underway and the outcome will be provided to the relevant managers within two (2) weeks, namely by the 7th April 2017.

28 June 2017 - NW925

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Lotriet, Prof A to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

(1)Whether there is any position of (a) chief executive officer, (b) chief financial officer and/or (c) chief operating officer that is currently vacant in each entity reporting to her; if so, (i) how long has each specified position been vacant and (ii) what is the reason for each vacancy; (2) have the vacancies been advertised; if so, (a) were interviews done and (b) on what date will the vacancies be filled; (3) (a) what is the total number of persons who are currently employed in the specified positions in an acting capacity, (b) for what period has each person been acting in each position and (c) has any of the specified persons applied for the positions?

Reply:

  1. No
  2. Not applicable
  3. Not applicable

Unquote

28 June 2017 - NW1224

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Mokgalapa, Mr S to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

Whether (a) her department and (b) each entity reporting to her has (i) procured any services from and/or (ii) made any payments to the Decolonisation Fund; if not, in each case, what is the position in this regard; if so, what (aa) services were procured, (bb) were the total costs, (cc) is the detailed breakdown of the costs, (dd) were the total amount paid, (ee) was the purpose of the payments and (ff) is the detailed breakdown of the payments in each case?

Reply:

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation has not procured any services and made no payment to:

(ii) The Decolonisation Fund, because the department did not require any service(s).

28 June 2017 - NW1492

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Majola, Mr TR to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

Whether (a) her department and (b) each entity reporting to her procured any services from and/or made any payments to (i) a certain company (name furnished) or (ii) any other public relations firms; if not, in each case, why not; if so, in each case, what (aa) services were procured, (bb) was the total cost, (cc) is the detailed breakdown of such costs, (dd) was the total amount paid, (ee) was the purpose of the payments and (ff) is the detailed breakdown of such payments?

Reply:

a) The Department of International Relations has not procured the services of any public relations firms

b) No entities reporting to her have procured the services of any other public relations firms.

c) The Department has in house media and public relations units that include media liaison unit, an in-house internet radio station (Ubuntu Radio), and social media platforms. These platforms are utilized to communicate the messages of her Department

02 June 2017 - NW132

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Mokgalapa, Mr S to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

(1)What are the details of her department’s policy concerning the employment of foreign nationals in South Africa’s foreign missions; (2) (a) how many foreign nationals are currently employed by each foreign mission and (b) in each case, (i) in which position are each of these foreign nationals employed and (ii) what (aa) qualifications and (bb) special skills does each person possess; (3) did the mission conduct (a) background checks and (b) security clearance procedures on each specified foreign national; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

(1) The South African Government, through the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), employs country nationals, third country nationals and/or South African nationals at the various Diplomatic and Consular Missions abroad, as support staff to the South African diplomats stationed in these missions abroad. Such employees are referred to as Locally Recruited Personnel (LRP).

(2) (a) 2049 LRP

(b)(i) The LRP are employed in the following positions:

  • Cleaner
  • Domestic Worker
  • Gardener
  • Watchman/Security
  • Chauffeur
  • Messager/Driver
  • Receptionist
  • Registry Clerk
  • Accountant/Assistant Accounts Clerk
  • Consular Clerk
  • Maintenance Officer
  • Secretary
  • Administrative Clerk/Officer
  • Information Clerk
  • Translator
  • Trade and Information Assistant
  • Marketing Officer

(ii) (aa) Each post has minimum requirements in terms of qualifications.

(bb) Post requirements and skills are determined by the level of the post

(3) (a) Yes

(b) As part of recruitment and selection, all applicants are required to submit a police clearance certificate from the local authorities of the host country.

02 June 2017 - NW786

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Kalyan, Ms SV to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

Whether the locally recruited personnel charter of her department has been implemented yet; if not, (a) why not and (b) by what date will it be implemented; if so, what are the relevant details in this regard?

Reply:

An LRP Charter does not apply to our regulatory context , since all LRP administrative matters are regulated through domestic legislation applicable to the respective countries of accreditation. Therefore, DIRCO does not have such a charter.

a) Not applicable

b) Not applicable

02 June 2017 - NW785

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Kalyan, Ms SV to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

(a) What are the full details of the (i) grievances and (ii) disciplinary cases that (aa) her department and (bb) each foreign mission of South Africa dealt with in the 2015–16 financial year, (b) how many were concluded, (c) what is the nature of sanctions that were meted out in each case, (d) how many are still pending and (e) what are the reasons?

Reply:

(a) (i) Total number of grievances handled during the period 01 April 2015 to 31 March 2016 is thirty two (32), and all thirty two (32) were concluded.

 

Nature of grievance

Number

Status

Unfair PMDS process

2 (two)

Finalised

Unfair recruitment and selection process

3 (three)

Finalised

Verbal abuse and intimidation

2 (two)

Finalised

Failure by the department to assist officials serving abroad with medical aids

1 (one)

Finalised

Disapproval of resignation

1 (one)

Finalised

Unilateral decision by the CFO to discontinue education allowance

6 (six)

Finalised

Failure by the department to upgrade the officials’ qualifications from FAA to MAC

4 (four)

Finalised

Harrasment and victimization

1 (one)

Finalised

Disapproval to undergo surgery abroad

1 (one)

Finalised

Exclusion from management meetings

1 (one)

Finalised

Disapproval of an application to attend MAC bridging course

1 (one)

Finalised

Disapproval of transfer back to South Africa

1 (one)

Finalised

Failure to upgrade post to high level

4 (four)

Finalised

Disapproval to attend a course

1 (one)

Finalised

False accusations

2 (two)

Finalised

Non payment of COLA

1 (one)

Finalised

     

(ii) Twelve (12) misconduct cases were handled and finalised during the period 01 April 2015 to 31 March 2016. See the table in paragraph (C)

(b) Twelve (12) grievances were from officials stationed abroad while twenty (20) were from officials at DIRCO Head Office

(bb) One (1) misconduct case was for the official stationed abroad and the remaining eleven (11) were for officials at DIRCO Head Office

(c) The nature of sanctions that were meted out in each misconduct case are as follows:

Nature of Misconduct

Sanction

Plagiarism

Not Guilty

Fraud

Dismissal

Insubordination

Not Guilty

Breach of Security

Final Written Warning plus recovery of COLA Allowance

Failure to disclose conflict of interest

One month Suspension without pay plus final written warning

Direlection of duty

Written Warning

Contravention of the procurement policy

Written warning

Gross negligence and dishonesty

Final written warning

Fraud

Final written warning plus one month suspension without pay

Misrepresentation and fraud

Dismissal

Irregular processes of the DBAC

Final written warning plus counselling

Absenteeism

Written warning

(d) All the cases have been finalised

(e) See the answer in (d)

Unquote.

02 June 2017 - NW307

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Mokgalapa, Mr S to ask the MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

(1) With reference to the statement of the President of the Republic, Mr Jacob G Zuma, made during the State of the Nation Address on 9 February 2017, that South Africa will continue mediation efforts, peacekeeping operations and peace-making initiatives in the Democratic Republic of Congo, what is the current status of South Africa’s formal involvement in the specified country?

Reply:

  1. South Africa continues to support MONUSCO (United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo) through a deployment of uniformed and other personnel in a multi-dimensional peacekeeping which involves the military, police and the civilian components. MONUSCO’s strategic priorities are to protect civilians, stemming out of violence against women and children perpetuated by armed groups. The current mandate of MONUSCO will expire on 31 March 2017. The UN will provide guidance in terms of the extension of the mandate based on a situational analysis on the ground, particularly in the Eastern DRC and the political developments as the country prepares for the elections by end of 2017.

 

UNQUOTE

02 June 2017 - NW172

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Lees, Mr RA to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

a) Whether, with reference to her reply to question 318 on 31 March 2016, the Government has taken any further action to secure the release of Mr Stephen McGowan; if not, why not; if so, (a) what are the relevant details of the further action the Government took in order to secure his release since her reply and (b) what are the relevant details of the action that the Government intends to take in order to secure his release; b) Whether she has any knowledge of (a) where the specified person has been held and (b) by whom; if not, in each case, why not; if so, what are the relevant details in each case; c)Whether the Government is working with and/or assisting any non-governmental organisations to secure the release of the specified person ; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details of the (a)non-governmental organisation and (b)assistance being provided to the specified organisations?

Reply:

(a) Yes -Government is involved in a continuum of actions securing the release of Mr Stephen McGowan, involving support from any of the Government Departments when needed. Actions were taken since March 2016, including, but not limited to, considering every viable option to ensure his release. Government continued to liaise with other Governments and agencies who may contribute to effect the release of Mr McGowan. Disclosing any details of actions taken at this stage will not serve a proper purpose but the House should know that Government did not leave any stone unturned to secure the release of Mr McGowan and will continue to assign resources and sincere efforts to ensure his return to South Africa..

(b)The exact location of Mr Stephen McGowan is not known, because it is a known trend of the captors to move their captives with regular intervals, ensuring their safety and security. Different groups are publicly known to capture tourists in Mali and, although more information about the group may be sourced, providing more information on the group is not in the interest of the matter being dealt with.

(c)Government is working with many other Governments and agencies in an effort to effect the release of Mr Stephen McGowan. Providing details on each of these organisations at this stage may compromise his safety.

UNQUOTE

10 January 2017 - NW2671

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Mokgalapa, Mr S to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

Whether she has taken any steps against a certain official of her department (name and details furnished) after being reported to the Hawks for allegedly committing financial fraud; if not, (a) why not and (b) when will she take steps against the specified person; if so, what are the full relevant details in this regard?

Reply:

Quote

(a) No, I have learned that SCOPA has referred the said case to the Hawks. The matter is still investigated by my Department and will release a report upon its conclusion.

(b) See (a) above.

Unquote

10 January 2017 - NW2672

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Mokgalapa, Mr S to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

With reference to her reply to oral question 263 on 16 November 2016, what (a) are the names of all the specified employees, (b) crimes were the employees found guilty of, (c) measures will be implemented to ensure that persons found guilty of committing any crime will not be appointed as diplomats in the future and (d) steps will her department take againt the specified persons?

Reply:

(a) Name

(b) Offence

M Mjikeliso

Forbidden Person in terms of Aliens Act as well as Culpable Homicide

P Mukeni

Reckless or Negligent Driving

PS Sizani

Public Violence as well as Failure to comply with provisions of the Value Added Tax Act

MMN Ngoma

Prohibition of certain forms of Intimidation

N Mkoroana-Cita

All Motor Vehicles shall be registered and licenced unless contrary prescribed

BP Motloung

Reckless or Negligent Driving

S Ngombane

Riotous Assemblies Act – Person attends gathering after it was prohibited

SM Radebe

Occupy the driver’s seat of a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor

(c) When an official has committed a crime a full vetting investigation is conducted in order to

determine if his/her security clearance must be withdrawn and if it is withdrawn the official will not be able to be posted again as a security clearance is a requirement for a posting.

(d) See (c) above.

 

28 November 2016 - NW2605

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Waters, Mr M to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

What are the reasons that South Africa voted against the follow-up Human Rights Council resolution calling for the appointment of an independent expert to tackle violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity?

Reply:

Quote

There has been no follow up resolution to that of the Human Rights Council on the said issue. South Africa has never voted against any resolution at the Human Rights Council or United Nations General Assembly on the thematic issue of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI). 

 

Unquote

23 November 2016 - NW2502

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Dudley, Ms C to ask the MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION:

(1) Why did the representative of South Africa to the United Nations vote in favour of the resolution of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation on 12 October 2016; (2) What informed the Government’s decision to vote in favour of the resolution, considering the implications regarding other religious connections to Jerusalem as a holy site? NW2892E

Reply:

1. South Africa voted in favour of the resolution of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation on Occupied Palestine on 13 October 2016, in view of South Africa’s support for the longstanding right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and the achievement of their legitimate national aspirations that include freedom, independence, justice, peace and dignity in an independent Palestinian State. South Africa is also committed to the two State solution that is an essential part of achieving peace in the entire Middle East through the establishment of a free and sovereign Palestinian State co-existing side-by-side in peace and security with the State of Israel, based on the 4 June 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

2. This resolution has no implications regarding other religious connections to Jerusalem as a holy site in that it affirms the importance of the old city of Jerusalem and its Walls for the three monotheistic religions. It seeks to safeguard the cultural heritage of Palestine and the distinctive character of East Jerusalem, in view of the persistent, systematic destruction of this heritage through numerous activities. It calls for an immediate end to these activities and for Israel to honour its obligations under UNESCO conventions, resolutions and decisions.

UNQUOTE

07 November 2016 - NW2299

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Tarabella - Marchesi, Ms NI to ask the MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION:

(1) Whether any (a) internal and/or (b) external forensic reports pertaining to (i) her department and/or (ii) each entity reporting to her were completed from 1 January 2009 up to the latest specified date for which information is available; if not, in each case, why not; if so, what is the (aa) name, (bb) subject matter and (cc) date of conclusion of each of the specified forensic reports?

Reply:

1. No. Neither (a) an internal nor (b) an external forensic investigation pertaining to either (i) the department and/or (ii) entity were conducted during the said period. As a result, there is no report to that effect.

UNQUOTE

07 October 2016 - NW2095

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Mackay, Mr G to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

What amount did (a) her department and (b) each entity reporting to her spend on advertising on the (i) Africa News Network 7 channel, (ii) SA Broadcasting Corporation (aa) television channels and (bb) radio stations, (iii) national commercial radio stations and (iv) community (aa) television and (bb) radio stations (aaa) in the 2015-16 financial year and (bbb) since 1 April 2016?

Reply:

(a) The Department International Relations and Cooperation has not spent any money on advertising for both the department and its entity, the African Renaissance Fund, on the following:

 (ii) Africa News Network 7 channel

 (iii) SA Broadcasting Corporation

(aa) Television channels

(bb) Radio stations

 (iii) National commercial radio stations

 (iv) Community stations

(aa) Television

(bb) Radio stations

Unquote.

07 October 2016 - NW2060

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Grootboom, Mr GA to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

Whether each Head of Department (HOD) of her department signed a performance agreement since their appointment; if not, (a) what is the total number of HODs, who have not signed performance agreements, (b) what is the reason in each case, (c) what action has she taken to rectify the situation and (d) what consequences will the specified HOD face for failing to sign the performance agreements; if so, (i) when was the last performance assessment of each HOD conducted and (ii) what were the results in each case; (2) whether any of the HODs who failed to sign a performance agreement received a performance bonus since their appointment; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, (a) at what rate and (b) what criteria were used to determine the specified rate; (3) whether any of the HODs who signed a performance agreement received a performance bonus since their appointment; if so, (a) at what rate and (b) what criteria were used to determine the rate?

Reply:

1. Yes all signed their performance agreements

    (a) Nil

    (b) Not Applicable

    (c) Not Applicable

   (d) Not Applicable

       (i) April 2016

       (ii) Satisfactory Performance

2. NONE

   (a) And (b) Not Applicable

3. NONE

    (a) And (b) Not Applicable

UNQUOTE

07 October 2016 - NW2005

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Esau, Mr S to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

Whether the Minister has taken any steps against a certain person (name furnished), who was stationed at the South African Embassy in the Republic of Burundi at the time that alleged fraudulent travelling documents were produced for a certain person (name furnished) in 2014; if not, (a) why not and (b) when will she takesteps against thespecified person; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

(a) At the time when the matter was reported to the Department, the official was placed on precautionary suspension pending outcome of the investigation. The investigation report recommended that one LRP be charged with misconduct for issuing fraudulent travelling documents to another person. Following the representations that the official made, the official’s precautionary suspension was withdrawn.

(a) Steps have been taken in that on 10 and 11 February 2015, a disciplinary hearing was conducted against the LRP and the chairperson found him guilty of the charges. The chairperson pronounced a sanction of dismissal against the LRP. The latter appealed against the dismissal sanction but the Appeal Authority confirmed the dismissal.

Unquote.

07 October 2016 - NW2025

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Boshoff, Ms SH to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

What formal qualifications does each of her department’s (a)(i) Chief Financial Officers and/or (ii) acting Chief Financial Officers and (b)(i) Directors-General and/or (ii) acting Directors-General possess?

Reply:

Mr KE Mahoai (Act DG):

  1. Matric
  2. Management Development Programme (certificate) – UNISA Graduate School of Business
  3. MA – California State University Sacramento
  4. BED – University of Limpopo
  5. BA Paed – University of Limpopo

Mr CT Ramashau (CFO):

  1. Matric
  2. Bachelor of Commerce – University of Venda
  3. University Education Diploma – University of Venda

15 September 2016 - NW1397

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Topham , Mr B to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

Whether (a) her department and (b) all entities reporting to her are running development programmes for (i) small businesses and (ii) co-operatives; if not, why not; if so, in each case, (aa) what are the relevant details, (bb) what amount has been budgeted and (cc) how many jobs will be created through the specified development programmes in the 2016-17 financial year?

Reply:

Quote:

(a) The department does not run development programme as its constitutional mandate is outward focused in implementing foreign policy.

(b) African Renaissance and International Cooperation Fund, does not run development programme, suffice to say that, in the disbursement of funds for approved projects with regard to Humanitarian Assistance, emphasise is made to procure goods locally, in supporting SMME and small scale farmers.

Unquote.

13 September 2016 - NW1549

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James, Ms LV to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

(a) What amount did (i) her department and (ii) each entity reporting to her spend on advertising in the 2015-16 financial year and (b) how much has (i) her department and (ii) each entity reporting to her budgeted for advertising in the 2016-17 financial year?

Reply:

Quote:

(a)(i) The department has spent R 4,094,600.01 on advertising in 2015-16 financial year.

  • Advertising: Promotional Items & Marketing R 3,343,401.15
  • Advertising: Recruitment R 528,711.08
  • Advertising: Tenders R 222,487.78

It should be noted that the expenditure on advertising include procurement of promotional items that are mainly used by missions which is classified as advertising according to Standard Chart of Accounts(SCOA) as well as advertising cost for recruitment and tenders.

(a)(ii) The entity (African Renaissance International Cooperation Fund) does not have and operational budget, all operational costs are covered by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.

(b)(i) The department budgeted R6,417,475.00 for advertising in 2016-17 financial year for procurement of missions’ promotional items, adverts for recruitment as well as adverts for tenders and

(b)(ii) The entity (African Renaissance International Cooperation Fund) does not have an operational budget, all operational costs are covered by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.

Unquote.

29 August 2016 - NW1514

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Balindlela, Ms ZB to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

1)Whether her department was approached by any political party for any form of funding (a) in the (i) 2013-14, (ii) 2014-15 and (iii) 2015-16 financial years and (b) since 1 April 2016; if so, what are the relevant details in each case; 2) Whether her department provided any form of funding to any political party (a) in the (i) 2013-14, (ii) 2014-15 and (iii) 2015-16 financial years and (b) since 1 April 2016; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details in each case? (a) What amount did (i) her department and (ii) each entity reporting to her spend on advertising in the 2015-16 financial year and (b) how much has (i) her department and (ii) each entity reporting to her budgeted for advertising in the 2016-17 financial year?

Reply:

1) (a)(i) No, there was no funding request received in 2013-14 from any political party

(ii) No, there was no funding request received in 2014-15 from any political party

(iii) No, there was no funding request received in 2015-16 from any political party

(b) Not applicable

2) (a)(i) No, there was no funding provided to any political part in 2013-14

(ii) No, there was no funding provided to any political part in 2014-15

(iii) No, there was no funding provided to any political part in 2015-16

(b) Not applicable

UNQUOTE.

29 August 2016 - NW1492

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Mokgalapa, Mr S to ask the MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION:

(1) Has (a) she and/or (b) her department been requested to waive the diplomatic immunity of a certain person (name furnished); if so, when was such a request made; (2) has she made a decision in respect of the specified request; if so, (a) when did she make the decision, (b) what was the decision and (c) what are the reasons for the decision; (3) has her department (a) conducted an investigation into and/or (b) initiated any disciplinary proceedings against the specified person for an alleged drunk driving incident that took place in Oslo, the Kingdom of Norway, in January 2016; if not, why not; if so, in each case, what are the (i) relevant details and (ii) outcomes?

Reply:

 

1. Yes, the Department received the request on 4 January 2016.

2) a) A decision was made on 12 January 2016.

b) The decision was to recall the employee concerned and not to waive his Diplomatic Immunity.

c) The decision was based on the provisions of Articles 29 and 31 the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 quoted as follows:

Article 29 of the Convention provides:

The person of a diplomatic agent shall be inviolable. He shall not be liable to any form of arrest or detention. The receiving State shall treat him with due respect and shall take all appropriate steps to prevent any attack on his person, freedom or dignity.

4.1.2 Article 31 states:

1. A diplomatic agent shall enjoy immunity from the criminal jurisdiction of the receiving State. He shall also enjoy immunity from its civil and administrative jurisdiction, except in the case of:

(a) a real action relating to private immovable property situated in the territory of the receiving State, unless he holds it on behalf of the sending State for the purposes of the mission;

(b) an action relating to succession in which the diplomatic agent is involved as executor, administrator, heir or legatee as a private person and not on behalf of the sending State;

(c) an action relating to any professional or commercial activity exercised by the diplomatic agent in the receiving State outside his official functions.

3) a) Yes the Department has already conducted an investigation, and the Report of the investigation has recommended that formal disciplinary proceedings be instituted against the employee concerned;

b) The employee concerned has been officially notified that disciplinary proceedings are going to be instituted against him. Disciplinary proceedings against the employee concerned have not yet taken place because the Department is still in the process of drafting and formulating charges and compliance with all other relevant labour law requirements.

29 August 2016 - NW1570

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Mokgalapa, Mr S to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

(a) How many staff members are employed at South Africa’s embassy in the Kingdom of Norway and (b) what is the (i) designation, (ii) salary grade and (iii) name of each the specified staff members?

Reply:

(a) 5

(b)

DESIGNATION

SALARY GRADE

NAME

Ambassador

13

Ambassador QA Zondo

1st Secretary: Political

10

Ms BSM Mepha

2nd Secretary: Political

8

Mr ZHM Zondi

1st Secretary: CS

10

Ms MC Mashishi

3rd Secretary: CS

7

Ms EM Nkwane

29 August 2016 - NW613

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Dudley, Ms C to ask the MRS C DUDLEY (ACDP) TO ASK THE MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION:

(1) With regard to the imprisonment in Sudan of two Sudanese Christian men (names furnished), detained on the grounds of exercising their religious beliefs, (details furnished), what diplomatic action is her department taking since Sudanese authorities have allegedly (a) attempted to distance themselves from accusations of religious intolerance by placing unsubstantiated espionage charges against the specified persons and (b) failed to meet international fair trial standards; (2) will her department apply any diplomatic pressure on His Excellency Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir with regard to upholding international human rights standards; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant detail

Reply:

1. The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) has taken note of the arrest of the two individuals for their alleged religious believes. We further noted that one of them has since been released. Considering that, this is an internal matter in a sovereign state; our government therefore is constrained by international conventions on the conduct of diplomatic practice.

2. South Africa like all sovereign states will be cautious not to be seen interfering in internal matters.

UNQUOTE