A South African diplomat, who allegedly left damages of close to R714 000 to an apartment in Vienna, also allegedly damaged his lodgings at a previous deployment and is still to pay it back.
In March, it was reported that the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) launched an investigation into allegations that South African diplomat, David Kweli Nkosi, left his rented apartment in Austria in a horrific and damaged state.
In a written parliamentary question, DA MP Darren Bergman asked International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor the following questions:
What is the total amount of damages left by Nkosi at the property in Vienna, Austria, which he rented until August 2020? Whether her department has made arrangements to pay back the owner for the damages? Whether Nkosi had a previous issue or similar allegation during a prior posting in India? Whether her department paid for the damages in India; if not, has the official been asked to pay any of the money back? What total amount to date has been collected from the individual?
Pandor answered that the alleged damage incurred by Nkosi amounts to €42 000, or R713 988.
“The department was advised by the mission that there are no arrangements made to pay back damages as the mission did not agree with the landlord’s claim. A request for a legal opinion has been submitted, with a view to getting guidance on the legal options available to the department to recover the debt,” she said.
Pandor confirmed that there was a similar allegation against Nkosi at a previous posting in India.
“As a result, the landlord in New Delhi submitted a report on damages to the property that was occupied by the official to the amount of INR306 850 (R53 612.20).”
Pandor said the department paid for the damages in India, and Nkosi hasn’t paid the money back.
“No amount has been recovered from the official, however, an email was sent on 14 May 2021 to advocate Nkosi in an attempt to recover the amount paid for damages in India,” Pandor said.