South Africa is complying with the requirements of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

QUESTION NO: 433

PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO 10 OF 26 MARCH 2007

MRS P DE LILLE (ID) TO ASK THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS:

  • Whether South Africa is complying with the requirements of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details;
  • Whether any action has been taken with regard to the attacks and burglaries on foreign representatives residing in South Africa; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

 REPLY:

  1. Yes, South Africa does comply with the requirements of the Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic and Consular Relations of 1961 and 1963 respectively that are incorporated in the Diplomatic Immunities and Privileges Act, 2001 (Act No 37 of 2001). Foreign representatives in the Republic are regulated in terms of the Vienna Conventions as well as the Convention on the Immunities and Privileges of the United Nations and its Specialised Agencies of 1949, incorporated as Schedules I, II and III to Act 37 of 2001. These are augmented by multilateral treaties and bilateral agreements with the Government of South Africa, governing development assistance in the Republic of South Africa.
  2. The South African Police Service is responsible for diplomatic security and protection. The DFA is in the process of negotiating a working document drafted according to Diplomatic law obligations of a receiving state to protect its accredited diplomatic community, over and above the protection prescribed by the Constitution. The Department of Foreign Affairs fulfils a liaison function between the diplomatic corps and the SAPS on diplomatic security; facilitates ad hoc Ministerial meetings; quarterly meetings with the Acting Chief of State Protocol and the regional Deans, as well as an annual diplomatic stakeholder meeting where other role players dealing with the diplomatic corps, are participating.

Action has been taken and the Department will continue to liaise with the South African Police Service to strengthen existing measures. If the Member wishes to be informed of the specifics they can be discussed with her.

Further details to question two, could be obtained from the Minister of Safety and Security.

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