Amid rising speculation that controversial former minister in the presidency for women Bathabile Dlamini will become an ambassador, to a country so far unknown, department of international relations and cooperation (Dirco) spokesperson Clayson Monyela could not be drawn to comment.
“We can’t comment on rumours,” was all he would say.
The Daily Maverick was among publications who reported early this month that Dlamini was among six former ministers tipped to be appointed as ambassadors, a list also reportedly including Siyabonga Cwele and Nomaindia Mfeketo.
On Tuesday morning, Business Live kept the rumours going, reporting that the Democratic Alliance (DA) got their legal representatives, Minde Schapiro & Smith, to write a lawyers’ letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa, expressing concern over Dlamini’s possible appointment.
According to the letter, the party will attempt to drag the president to court if Dlamini becomes an ambassador. The letter argues that her conduct as a minister was “reckless and grossly negligent”, and that her appointment as an ambassador would, therefore “constitute an irrational, unconstitutional and untoward decision”.
The letter says making Dlamini an ambassador would prove that “ambassador positions are reserved for those politicians who have failed their country and who have been proven to be guilty of misconduct, inter alia, during their term of service in high executive office”.
The DA believes Minister of International Relations Naledi Pandor’s answer in parliament to a question from one of its MPs about whether or not Dlamini might indeed become an ambassador betrayed that her appointment was on the cards.
While Pandor said ambassadors were appointed by the president, not her, she added: “but seeing that I’m smiling, I’m sure you know why I’m smiling”.
Twitter, meanwhile, seemed to show rare consensus over the possible appointment of the former minister. It would not, according to multiple users on the platform, be a good idea.
There’s a suggestion that Bathabile Dlamini may be deployed as an ambassador for South Africa. Can you think of a worse representative for our country? Quite apart from her stint at SASSA – didn’t she lie to the concourt? #702Breakfast
— Bongani Bingwa – (@bonglez) September 17, 2019
If Papbek Dlamini is made an Ambassador, it would be the most embarrassing appointment in the history of South Africa, surely government isn't dumb enough to make such an appointment, but then nothing surprises me any more with the ANC decisions.
— Buzz (@dgtager) September 17, 2019
If there's credence in the rumour that the delusional,incompetent & corrupt Bathabile Dlamini may b an ambassador for our country.Just know that this will b a direct insult to ALL S.A & No one will take your leadership seriously c.c @CyrilRamaphosa @NalediPandor @JacksonMthembu_ pic.twitter.com/lEr842TzdY
— Hadebe_M (@HadebeM2) September 17, 2019
(Compiled by Daniel Friedman.)