Corruption memo to Ramaphosa a foreign embassy faux pas — Dirco

A memorandum signed by five embassies — the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland — has called for President Cyril Ramaphosa to act against perpetrators of corruption, warning that if the president did not act his investment drive could fail.

This is according to a report from the Sunday Times newspaper.

The countries have allegedly called for political commitment to the rule of law and independence of the judiciary.

However, the memorandum, delivered directly to Ramaphosa, “dismissed diplomatic protocols”, International Relations Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said in a statement on Sunday.

The department of international relations (Dirco) explained: “In terms of acceptable diplomatic practice, protocol and convention, diplomatic missions are expected to communicate to the receiving state by means of a note verbal (diplomatic note) conveyed through the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.”

Sisulu, according to the statement, has “instructed the department to demarche the concerned ambassadors with a view to discussing substantive matters contained in their correspondence”.

The five countries account for 75% of South Africa’s foreign investment, and, according to the Sunday Times, reportedly raised concerns about “obstacles” to direct foreign investment which included “constant changes” to regulations regarding mining, intellectual property rights and broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE).

Ramaphosa has been encouraging investment in South Africa over the last year with the hope to grow the economy with $100-billion (R1.3-trillion) in investments. 

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