The Democratic Alliance believes that Zindzi Mandela’s divisive comments are strong enough basis for her to be recalled as ambassador. According to the code of conduct, an Ambassador may not communicate any view without the express permission of the Minister of International Relations and Co-operation, Naledi Pandor. As an Ambassador your private views are limited by the obligation to uphold and further the best interest of South Africa. Therefore, the recent tweets from the official Twitter account of South Africa’s Ambassador to Denmark were either endorsed by the Minister, or were in contravention of the code of conduct, which is grounds for recall.
Moreover, the claim by the Department of International Relations and Co-operation (DIRCO) spokesperson, Clayson Monyela, that they are unable to contact South Africa’s Ambassador to Denmark, Zindzi Mandela, because “she is travelling” is highly problematic. It is an offence for an Ambassador to leave the country of accreditation without departmental approval and a further offence to be uncontactable for days at a time. This is grounds for immediate recall.
If it is confirmed that Ambassador Mandela was the author of the divisive tweets and that she did not receive approval to express these views or to travel, she must be recalled immediately.
In the meantime, the DA has sent urgent questions to Minister Pando asking whether the views of Ambassador Mandela are also the views of the South African government.
The Democratic Alliance recognises that the reconciliation project in South Africa has stalled over the last decade. The progress we had made since 1994 has halted, leading to many South Africans feeling they don’t have a stake in democratic South Africa.
This climate allows divisive and damaging politics to take root, as people retreat into their racial and cultural laagers. This “us vs them” mentality divides us and undermines the difficult but possible vision of building One South Africa for All.
Ambassador Mandela’s comments on Twitter are unfortunate as they seek to place blame on sections of the population for the complete failure of the government to grow our economy and achieve meaningful redress.
The DA believes in the right of all South Africans to own land and property in their own right. This must be coupled with a land reform policy that redresses the wrongs of the past.
Darren Bergman MP
DA Shadow Minister of International Relations and Cooperation