S. African diplomat to face trial in Norway for drunk driving

CAPE TOWN, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) — Norway is seeking to waive diplomatic immunity under the Geneva Convention to try a South African diplomat criminally for drunk driving, it was disclosed Tuesday.

The unidentified diplomat has been arrested in Oslo for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol, causing a vehicle accident and injuring a person.

The SA Department of International Relations and Cooperation has confirmed the news, saying the matter is being investigated by Norwegian authorities.

The diplomat reportedly attempted to evade Norwegian police while driving drunk, sped up his diplomatic vehicle and subsequently crashed.

“This is a gross act of diplomatic recklessness, and criminal conduct on the part of South African diplomats must be strongly condemned,” said the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA).

As Norway is to try the diplomat, South Africa “must equally act against this representative of our country”, the DA said.

It is also alleged that the diplomat has a previous drunk driving allegation against him, according to the DA.

The DA said it would write to Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Nkoana-Mashabane, to request that she immediately suspend this diplomat and begin a disciplinary process against him.

It is not the first time that South African diplomats were involved in acts that run counter to their status.

In 2013, South Africa’s consul-general in Shanghai of China, Lassy Chiwayo, has been recalled after he was allegedly found wandering the streets naked.

Early last year, South African ambassador to Japan, Mohau Pheko,  allegedly faked her qualifications to take up the position.  Pheko later regretted misrepresenting herself on her CV, by stating that she had a PhD when she had not, in fact, completed the degree.

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