A South African diplomat who allegedly left damages worth close to R714 000 to his rented apartment in Vienna in August 2020, is accused of similar allegations at a previous posting in India.
According to News24, David Kweli Nkosi was yet to pay back the R53 612 incurred for the damages in India.
In March, the Democratic Alliance (DA) alleged that Nkosi, had left a Vienna luxury apartment, hired by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), with €40 000 (R713 988) worth of damages in just a two-year stint.
The DA called on DIRCO to institute an urgent probe into these allegations and to hold the implicated official to account by ensuring that they personally paid for the damages incurred.
Domestic budget abroad
“We have also submitted urgent parliamentary questions to Minister Pandor regarding this matter as we are concerned with the amount of abuse that properties abroad are taking by South African diplomats and the amount of money taxpayers are losing in our domestic budget abroad,” the DA said.
Afriforum also weighed in and said: “According to the apartment’s owner, Karl Widy, as reported in the media, when Nkosi moved out in August 2020 all the electrical appliances in the kitchen were destroyed and all the valuable cutlery was missing.
“There were no glasses left, the fridge and microwave were destroyed, the window frames and door frames were damaged, the sink, bath and toilet were stained, the walls and floors were dirty and stained with black soot, and the place was infested with cockroaches.”
‘Taxpayers should not be burdened’
Ernst van Zyl, Campaign Officer for strategy and content at AfriForum said this behaviour by a South Africa diplomat was unacceptable and taxpayers should not be burdened with paying for these damages.
“…AfriForum’s stance is that the diplomat adv. David Kweli Nkosi should pay for the damages out of his own pocket.”
But in its report on Monday, News24 quoted International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor as saying the mission did not agree with the landlord’s claim.
“The department was advised that there are no arrangements made to pay back the damages as the mission did not agree with the landlord’s claim.
“A request for a legal opinion has been submitted with a view to getting guidance on the legal options available to the department to recover the debt”.
She also confirmed that the department paid for the damages in India, and Nkosi was yet to pay back the money.