Berlin Germany August 5th 2019
On July 26 2019 The South African Democratic Alliance (DA) submitted an urgent Parliamentary question to the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Naledi Pandor, to enquire about the fate of the case of sexual harassment against the Algerian Ambassador to South Africa.
A domestic employed in the residence of the Algerian Ambassador for almost ten years, laid criminal charges with the police against the Ambassador for alleged sexual assault. She accused the Ambassador of repeated sexually assaulting her between 2013 and 2017. The South African Police Service (SAPS) confirmed last march that a case of sexual assault was opened against an Algerian diplomat.
The DA is mindful that an investigation should take place and that a person is innocent until proven guilty. However, in this case it seems that the wheels of justice have come to a grinding halt and the South African government has prioritized diplomacy over the protection of a vulnerable victim of a sexual crime.
The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 might provide limited powers to a host country in this regard, but this does not render them powerless. The South African government has the opportunity to investigate the possibility of declaring the current Algerian Ambassador, persona non grata, by condemning his continued stay in the country.
The complainant deserves to know that her pleas have not fallen on deaf ears. She deserves to know what actions the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) has taken to date, if any, to ensure that this matter is brought to a speedy resolution for the judicial benefit of bath suspect and victim. Just because the Ambassador enjoys diplomatic immunity, does not prevent the law from taking its full course.
It would be a shame, in a country reeling from crime where women living in constant fear of becoming victims of acts of violence, a locally recruited employee are further victimized as DIRCO seems to have, once again, chosen diplomacy over justice for a South Africa citizen who has allegedly been the victim of a crime. Non-interference in this matter, is not just quiet diplomacy, but is tantamount to DIRCO stating that South African lives do not matter.
Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of Freelancer , on Tuesday 6 August, 2019. For more information subscribe and follow https://pressat.co.uk/