South Africa expels Malawi diplomats over drinks scandal | Malawi News


South Africa said diplomats ordered them to leave after “they were found guilty of smuggling tax-free alcohol.”

Malawi has said several of its diplomats had been expelled from South Africa after being found guilty of tax-free alcohol trafficking.

Malawi’s foreign ministry in Lilongwe said on Friday that South Africa had given diplomats and their families 72 hours to leave the country.

South Africa’s international relations ministry said in a statement that the decision was made because diplomats “were found guilty of smuggling tax-free alcohol” following an intense investigation into the its violation of diplomatic privileges.

Pretoria said investigations into similar transgressions by other accredited missions in South Africa were “at an advanced stage and similar action will be taken if they are found guilty.”

Malawi’s Foreign Ministry expressed “regret” that “Malawian diplomats … have been declared persona non grata” and promised disciplinary action when officers return home.

Several Lesotho diplomats were expelled from South Africa on Thursday for similar reasons.

South African media reported that diplomats from Lesotho, who had cash, have been bringing alcohol to the country without having to pay taxes and then reselling them to bars and restaurants.

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