Malawi diplomats expelled in SA for selling tax free alcohol

Image: Twitter/ @faceofmalawi

Now Dirco expels Malawi diplomats over illegal alcohol ring

Malawian diplomats are accused of smuggling alcohol bought at duty free shops in a scandal involving diplomats from several countries.

Malawi diplomats expelled in SA for selling tax free alcohol

Image: Twitter/ @faceofmalawi

Malawian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that all diplomats serving at the country’s High Commission in Pretoria, South Africa have been expelled from South Africa as the South African government has declared them persona non grata (which means an unacceptable or unwelcome person).

It is alleged that the diplomats abused their diplomatic privileges. On Thursday, 10 June, Basotho diplomats serving in the Consulate in Johannesburg were given 72 hours to leave South Africa.


The Ministry said the diplomats and their families have been given three working days to depart from South Africa. This decision was also taken in line with the Vienna Convention of 1961.

“The Government of Malawi has since conveyed its regret to the Republic of South Africa. on the conduct of the concerned diplomats. The Government of Malawi will take appropriate actions on the diplomats upon their returns.

“Meanwhile, Government has put in place appropriate measures to ensure continuity of operations of the Mission in Pretoria.”

In a statement released on Friday, 11 June, Dirco confirmed the expulsion of Basotho diplomats.

“This decision was taken in line with the Vienna Convention of 1961. The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 is fundamental to the conduct of foreign relations and ensures that diplomats can conduct their duties without the threat of influence by the host government.

“However, in instances where such privileges are abused, the host country is obliged to take the necessary action in line with the Convention.”

Dirco also confirmed that there are investigations of similar transgressions by other missions accredited to South Africa which are at an advanced stage and similar action will be taken should they be found guilty.

“The Department of International Relations and Cooperation wishes to confirm that it has, on behalf of the Republic of South Africa, declared several diplomats Persona Non-Grata following an intensive investigation into their flouting of diplomatic privileges.”

It is also alleged that diplomats from Rwanda, Lesotho, Ghana, Guinea, Malawi and Burundi were implicated in a tax-dodging scam that was uncovered by the South African Revenue Services (SARS) in April this year.

READ: ‘There’s more’: Dirco to expel more foreign diplomats in SA