People are speculating about corruption and ineptitude in the South African Embassy in Uganda | Why is High Commissioner seat in Uganda Vacant?
By Melanie Nathan, November 17, 2014.
Following the story in South African press that Jon Qwelane is back in Court, I noted terminology referring to Mr. Qwelane as the “former high commissioner” of South Africa to Uganda. I had recently been tipped off by several Ugandans who made accusations of bribery, corruption and ineptitude at the South African Embassy in Kampala, notably when people try to obtain visas. I became curious. I was not able to find any any press statement or story that Qwelane’s position as High Commissioner had been terminated, no statement of a recall, anew post, nor any expiration of term. I went to the SA Government website and noted “vacant” next to the position of “High Commissioner, amongst the list of consular officials” – and where the Qwelane’s name used to appear.
I searched and could not find any press information about Qwelane’s demise from the Ugandan position. last week I sent an e-mail (see below), asking for clarification on several of these issues. I still await a response.
I participated in the drive in 2011 to recall Qwelane when he was found guilty of “hate speech” against gays – later overturned. But the South African Government said he would not be recalled at that time.
Letter sent to Ugandan Embassy and South African Government:
TO: DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION | and SA Embassy in Uganda
Dear Consul and Hon. Maite Nkoana-Mashabane,
People are speculating about corruption and ineptitude in the South African Embassy in Uganda. We did not see any press release when Mr. Qwelane returned to South Africa. Was there one?
Many people have been writing to me to complain that they have been subjected to long queues and failures on part of the South African Government to issue visas via the Embassy in Uganda. They are reporting that they have missed workshops and conferences to which they have been invited as a result.
Others have reported being asked – even by personnel at the gates – for bribes.
Can you comment on these questions:
1) Why and when was Mr. Qwelane returned to South Africa
2) Why is the process for visas for conferences taking so long
3) Who is head of the Embassy now that Mr. Qwelane is no longer there
4) What is your response to the allegations of corruption
5) Will an investigation be launchedCan you kindly comment on this article? http://oblogdeeoblogda.me/2014/11/14/homophobic-south-african-ex-ambassador-to-uganda-back-in-court/
Thanks for your prompt – on the record response – to these questions.
MELANIE NATHAN BA LL.B
PRIVATE COURTS, INC.
Conflict Resolution & Human Rights Advocacy
South African Embassy in Uganda:
Counsellor (Political) – W Swartz (Ms)
Counsellor (Regional Affairs) – S K Mnisi
First Secretary (Political) – M Mminele
First Secretary (Regional Affairs) T Memela (Ms)
First Secretary (Corporate Services) – V Theunissen (Ms)
Third Secretary (Corporate Services) – D E Tlali (Ms)