South Africa Ejects Lesotho Diplomats for Illicit Sale of Alcohol

Lesotho on Thursday announced that several of its diplomats have been expelled from South Africa for illicitly peddling duty-free alcohol.

The Foreign Affairs ministry in Maseru said South Africa issued the diplomats and their families a 72 hour time frame to leave the country.

According to the statement released, South Africa had taken the decision because the diplomats violated laws “specifically, the illicit trade in duty-free alcohol”

South African media have reported that cash-strapped Lesotho diplomats have been bringing alcohol into the country without paying duty and then re-selling them in bars and restaurants.

The ministry expressed “disappointment and embarrassment and declared several Basotho diplomats persona non grata”.

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Lesotho has vowed disciplinary action against the officers on their return home.

A leaked note from the South African government sent to the Foreign Ministry in Maseru, listed 12 diplomats, including spouses who “have abused their diplomatic privileges”.

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