Responds regarding whether the government intends to institute disciplinary action against Mr Jon Qwelane, South African High Commissioner to the Republic of Uganda

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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

FOR WRITTEN REPLY

QUESTION NO:  1992  (NW2237E)

PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER 21-2011 OF 5 AUGUST 2011

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

  1. Whether the Government intends to (a) recall or (b) institute disciplinary action against Mr Jon Qwelane, South African High Commissioner to the Republic of Uganda after he was found guilty of hate speech against homosexuals by the Equality Court in June 2011; if not, why not; in each case; if so, what are the relevant details in each case?                  

REPLY:

  1. The Department of International Relations and Cooperation has not initiated any process to recall or institute any disciplinary action against Mr Jon Qwelane, South African High Commissioner to the Republic of Uganda, relating to the guilty finding for hate speech against homosexuals. The matter in question arises from an article which Mr Jon Qwelane wrote in his capacity as a columnist and long before his appointment as the High Commissioner of South Africa to the Republic of Uganda. As a representative of the South African government in a foreign country, Mr Qwelane upholds the values and principles of the South African Constitution. South African envoys are made aware of the provisions of the Constitution, especially the Bill of Rights, when addressing sensitive issues like the one quoted above.

    On 1 September 2011, High Commissioner Qwelane won his bid for a rescission of the finding against him and, as matters stand at present, he is not guilty of any charges preferred against him by the SA Human Rights Commission.  

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