Sexual Misconduct Charges against South African Ambassador

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

FOR WRITTEN REPLY

QUESTION NO 479

QUESTION TIME: 20 AUGUST 2004

MRS CS BOTHA (DA) TO ASK THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS:

1. Whether, with reference to her reply to Question No 33 on 12 August 2004 and in light of her (a) constitutional obligation to give account to Parliament of the exercise of her powers and the performance of her functions and (b) moral obligation to women who have a right to freedom from sexual harassment, she will consider her refusal to answer questions about her decision in respect of the disciplinary hearing of a certain ambassador (name furnished); if not, what are the reasons for failing her obligations; if so,

2. whether, acting as the appeal authority in the disciplinary hearing of the said ambassador who was found guilty of molesting several Indonesian women in 2001 and of the sexual harassment of a certain person (name also furnished) who was an employee of her department, in November 2003, she took into consideration, in overturning the findings of guilty by presiding officers, the (a) corroboration of the evidence of the said person with regard to the positioning of the ambassador and this person where alleged acts of sexual harassment took place, (b) resultant finding by the presiding officers that the testimony of the ambassador was unreliable and therefore improbable, (c) unsubstantiated version of the said ambassador with regard to his allegations of a bigger conspiracy against him and of him being framed by sinister forces and (d) statement under cross-examination by the said ambassador's own witness that the said person and her colleagues had reported acts of sexual harassment against the ambassador without being coerced to do so; if not, (I) what factors were taken into consideration and (ii) on what basis did she dismiss each of the factors listed above; if so, on what basis did she come to a different finding from the presiding officers?

REPLY: (a) & (b)

This matter is sub judice.

END

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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa