Officials brace for new foreign posts
Sbu Ndebele Former KwaZulu-Natal premier and Cabinet minister Sbu Ndebele, former chairperson of the National Council of Provinces Mninwa Mahlangu and former spy boss Dennis Dlomo will be jetting off to foreign missions soon. They will be joined by businessperson Zindzi
Mandela, former chief of Mninwa Mahlangu
state protocol Bruce Koloane and former Cope MP Smuts Ngonyama.
Ndebele will replace Koleka Mqulwana as South Africa’s high commissioner to Australia at its mission in Canberra.
Mahlangu will replace Ebrahim Rasool at South Africa’s embassy in Washington and Dlomo will be posted to Algeria.
Zindzi Mandela becomes the second Mandela daughter to become an ambassador. The other, Zenani, is in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Zindzi Mandela is going to Denmark, Koloane to The Hague in the Netherlands and Ngonyama is headed for Spain.
Ndebele, who previously served as minister of transport and of correctional services, was 24th on the ANC’s parliamentary list, but didn’t take up his position in Parliament after the May elections.
He told City Press he was looking forward to his new role. “I have been in government for 20 years and it is time for a change,” he said. Ndebele said his posting was important in terms of the Indian Ocean Rim Association, a regional forum with 20 member states, of which South Africa and Australia are members.
“Our ties [with Australia] will be a lot stronger,” he said. Zindzi Mandela Ndebele said South Africa and Australia shared the Square Kilometre Array project and needed to cooperate on that, as well as on mining.
There is also a large expatriate community in the country.
Mahlangu is taking over from Rasool at a time when the US Congress is deliberating the renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act and whether South Africa should still be included.
He chaired the National Council of Provinces from 2004 to 2014. Rasool was placed too low down on the ANC’s parliamentary list for this year’s elections to make it back to Parliament. Dennis Dlomo Dlomo formerly worked as coordinator of intelligence on the national intelligence coordinating committee, but was redeployed to the department of international relations and cooperation (Dirco).
Koloane was controversially demoted to departmental liaison officer in Dirco after taking the fall for the landing of the Gupta plane at Waterkloof Air Force Base.
Ngonyama worked as ANC presidential spokesperson under Thabo Mbeki, but joined Cope after Mbeki was forced to resign. He returned to the ANC before the May elections.
Dirco spokesperson Clayson Monyela said the department could not comment on postings until the ambassadors had presented their credentials to their host countries.