South African authorities deny arrest of diplomat in Norway

The South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) on Tuesday denied allegations that a South African diplomat was arrested in Norway for drunken driving.


This came after the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) alleged that Norway is seeking to waver diplomatic immunity under the Geneva Convention to try the South African diplomat criminally for drunken driving.


The unidentified diplomat was arrested in Oslo for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol, causing a vehicle accident and injuring a person, according to the DA.

“The accident is now being investigated by the Norwegian police. The official is cooperating with them. He was injured and taken to hospital. There was no arrest,” DIRCO spokesperson Nelson Kgwete said.

He said the department would only comment once police had investigated the matter.

The DA called the accident “a gross act of diplomatic recklessness, and criminal conduct on the part of South African diplomats”.

As Norway is to try the diplomat, South Africa “must equally act against this representative of our country”, the DA said.

The DA said it would write to Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Nkoana-Mashabane to request that she immediately suspend this diplomat and begin a disciplinary process against him.

The DA would also request that Parliament’s International Relations and Cooperation committee be briefed at the first sitting of 2016 on this criminal matter. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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