Status on whether the Minister is in light of the inaccurate statement made to the South African media

QUOTE

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

FOR WRITTEN REPLY

QUESTION NO: 1412

PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO 18 OF 25 SEPTEMBER 2009

Mr K S Mubu (DA) to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation:

 (1)       Whether she, in light of the inaccurate statement made to the South African media by a certain person (name furnished) about the imprisonment of a South African citizen (name furnished) has been informed of a letter sent by him to her family; if so,

(2)        whether this undated and unsigned letter is an acceptable form of apology; if so, what are the relevant details; if not,

(3)        whether she will provide an official apology to the family for the official’s unacceptable conduct; if not, why not; if so, when;


(4)        whether any action has been taken against the abovementioned person; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?   
                                                      
REPLY:

  1. Yes.  The Minister is aware that the Consul General in Dubai forwarded a draft reply of an apology to Mr Hillier on Friday 11 September 2009 that was indeed unsigned and undated.  On Saturday 12 September 2009, the error was noted and a signed letter was forwarded to Mr Hillier on 13 September 2009.

  2. Any unsigned correspondence, not on Departmental stationery (except for email correspondence) is not acceptable.

  3. The Department’s policy relating to consular matters is clear; consular matters are not dealt with in the public domain.  It is regretted that comments attributed to an official have caused the Hillier Family inconvenience, for which we have apologised. The Department strives to render consular assistance to all South African citizens in a dignified humane manner.

  4. Yes. He was issued with a warning letter and informed not to liaise with the media in future.

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