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South African officials did not sour diplomatic ties with Malawi during Chakwera plane fiasco

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This after the police searched their plane on two events for the fugitive Shepherd Bushiri.

South African officials did not “unduly compromise” diplomatic courtesies with Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera’s delegation on Friday.

This after the police searched their plane on two events for the fugitive Shepherd Bushiri.

The matter will probably be dealt with via diplomatic channels.


The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) says at no level did South African officials “unduly compromise normal diplomatic courtesies extended to visiting presidential delegations” when Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera and his entourage left South Africa final Friday.

Chakwera’s plane was searched twice by the police, as soon as at Waterkloof Air Force Base, after which at OR Tambo International Airport, Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi revealed to the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs on Tuesday.

After corruption-accused Shepherd Bushiri and his spouse, Mary, did not present up for his or her verify-in with the police as a part of their bail situations, the police went to Waterkloof, the place all passengers’ passports, bar Chakwera’s and his spouse’s, had been scrutinised, Motsoaledi stated.

The flight was already delayed as a bunch of Malawian officials, who entered via OR Tambo, needed to go away with the remainder of the delegation via Waterkloof.

According to Motsoaledi, this might not be completed.

‘Unacceptable and unsatisfactory’ therapy

On Monday, the Malawian authorities expressed its dissatisfaction, dismissing their therapy as “unacceptable and unsatisfactory”.

In a press release launched on Tuesday, the division stated:

South Africa and Malawi get pleasure from cordial relations carried out on the highest stage, as evidenced by the current official working go to of His Excellency Dr Lazarus Chakwera, the president of the Republic of Malawi.

“This was a successful visit, which allowed His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa and his counterpart to review the status of bilateral ties.”

According to the assertion, Ramaphosa and Chakwera had been happy with the present state of bilateral co-operation.

“The matter of the reported delay of the departure of the Malawian presidential jet at the Waterkloof Air Force Base was unfortunate and unavoidable. The delay was occasioned by important security, logistical and procedural processes,” learn the assertion.

Concerns ‘addressed’

“These processes created some concerns and misunderstanding within the Malawian delegation. These concerns have been addressed. It is important to note that at no point did South African officials unduly compromise normal diplomatic courtesies extended to visiting presidential delegations.

“Matters associated to occasions on the Waterkloof Air Force Base will probably be dealt with and communicated via diplomatic channels.”

The department said South Africa remained committed to working with Malawi to ensure mutually beneficial relations.

The chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations, Tandi Mahambehlala, said in a statement it was important that relevant departments in both jurisdictions resolved the matter of Bushiri’s escape expeditiously.

She said:

It cannot be appropriate for Mr Bushiri to pit regional trade partners against each other. Malawi and South Africa historically have strong bilateral and regional ties that ought to be strengthened and respected.

“The claims of xenophobia Mr Bushiri made in searching for sympathy from his authorities are a priority and will probably compromise South Africa at a time when it ought to lead the recovery of regional economies,” she said.

Mahambehlala called on people not to lend credence to a story that Chakwera had smuggled Bushiri out of the country after his state visit.

Warrant of arrest

“This matter has been clarified by each international locations and if perpetuated additional, it might unjustly compromise President Lazarus Chakwera.”

Over the weekend, it emerged that the self-proclaimed prophet, Bushiri, and his spouse had been in Malawi after they skipped bail.

The Enlightened Christian Gathering church chief collectively with his spouse and three others are accused of fraud involving round R102 million.

The couple was out on R200 000 bail every.

On Friday, they did not seem for his or her verify-in with police.

On Saturday, they stated that they had fled as a result of they believed their lives had been at risk and they might not get a good trial in South Africa, in an interview broadcast on the church’s social media channels.

A warrant of arrest has been issued for the Bushiris.