Dirco to call in Eswatini High Commission over spokesperson saying SA is infected with crime

3rd August 2022 By: News24Wire

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) will be calling in representatives from the Eswatini High Commission to explain statements made by a government spokesperson, stating that South Africa has a "cancer of criminality from head to toe".

Eswatini government spokesperson Alpheous Nxumalo was interviewed on SAfm on Tuesday, amid allegations that the foreign government is linked to the murder of Hillary Gardee, the daughter of former Economic Freedom Fighters secretary-general Godrich Gardee.

Gardee had claimed in a series of tweets that the Eswatini king was involved in the murder because the EFF had closed border posts in Eswatini in April for six hours during a protest.

Gardee did not provide any evidence for his claims.

In the interview with SAfm presenter Sakina Kamwendo, Nxumalo said it was "unjournalistic and unethical" to insult Eswatini's head of state.

Nxumalo previously told News24 that Gardee's claims were "wild and empty allegations".

During the radio interview, Nxumalo said his government did not want to dignify the allegations with a response, "Our [government] does not have a history of running after people [and] taking people down because they toyi-toyi at the border... I don't know why Gardee is valuing himself so highly."

Nxumalo described the murder as an "unfortunate development" and said South Africa is "infected with the cancer of criminality from head to toe".

"Gardee should be working on bringing legislation to reduce the crime in South Africa, instead of trying to expose conspiracies," he added.

Dirco spokesperson Clayson Monyela told News24 that the department would file a démarche with the kingdom's high commissioner on Wednesday to seek an explanation.

"We certainly take a dim view of the comments made by Nxumalo. It was an unfortunate statement to make. We will seek to ascertain if this is the view of their government, or of an individual. We want to know what they are going to do about it. It was a wrong characterisation of South Africa. There is no country that is without crime," he said.

On Friday, News24 reported that the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria had ordered the Hillary Gardee murder investigation to be handed over to the Hawks and for case to be treated with urgency.

This after the Gardee family said the police were not prioritising the case due to a lack of interest and media attention.