South Africa said diplomats were ordered to leave after they were ‘found guilty of participating in the illicit sale of alcohol without duty”.
Malawi says some of its diplomats were deported from South Africa after they were found guilty of selling alcohol without duty-free.
Malawi’s foreign affairs ministry in Lilongwe said on Friday that South Africa had given diplomats and their families 72 hours to leave the country.
South Africa’s ministry of international relations said in a statement that the decision was taken because diplomats had “been found guilty of committing the illicit sale of alcohol without duty” after a crackdown. investigation into their violation of diplomatic privileges.
Pretoria reported that investigations into similar violations at other missions accredited in South Africa “are at an advanced stage and will take similar action if they are found guilty”
Malawi’s foreign ministry expressed “regret” that “Malawian diplomats… were declared persona non grata” and promised disciplinary action once the officials returned home.
Several Lesotho diplomats were expelled from South Africa on Thursday for similar reasons.
South African media reported that cash-strapped Lesotho diplomats brought alcohol into the country without paying duty and then sold it to bars and restaurants.