Today's Big Stories

"Compromised" SA diplomat should be recalled

Francis Ngubeni, SA's High Commissioner to Singapore, has previously been convicted for alleged drug trafficking, the Sunday Times has revealed.

Ngubeni had spent two years - between 1999 and 2001 - in a New York city prison for smuggling cocaine into the United States, the newspaper claimed.

It is alleged she also failed to declare that she had a criminal record during the vetting process which was conducted by the State Security Agency prior to her appointment.

Professor Siphamandla Zondi, from the University of Pretoria says Ngubeni must be removed from her position and taken through a disciplinary process.

This will compromise her badly and I don't see how she could stay in that position in that country without damaging the diplomatic relations...

Prof. Siphamandla Zondi, Professor of Political Science from the University of Pretoria

Zondi says the news came at a terrible time when our Deputy President is on a state visit to Singapore.

He says he doesn't understand how the state security agency missed Ngubeni's conviction while they revealed so many things on the current public protector during her vetting process.

However, he says it was also brought up that Ngubeni only got her security clearance while she was already in Singapore which according to Zondi is very bad and not a proper way of doing things.

He says that if her security clearance had been declined she could've been recalled without tarnishing the country's image.

Listen to the full conversation below:


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