Deputy Ambassador attacked diplomat in Zim - PSA

Manie de Clercq says strongest possible action must be taken against Mlulami Singapi

PSA demands action against SA diplomat in Zimbabwe after assault on female colleague

The Public Servants Association (PSA) is demanding the "strongest possible action" against a senior South African diplomat at the South African Embassy in Harare, Zimbabwe following his brutal assault of a female colleague in her office last week.

PSA member, Lyn de Jong, Head of Corporate Services at the Embassy, was attacked and assaulted for several minutes in her office on 7 May 2010 by the Deputy Ambassador, Mr Mlulami Singapi. She sustained various injuries to her face and body for which she received medical treatment. Ms De Jong was also assaulted by Singapi in June 2009, but was convinced by the then Department of Foreign Affairs to drop the case and "make peace and in the interest of the Mission to resolve the matter quietly".

Four of Ms De Jong's colleagues, responding to her screams, managed to pull Mr Singapi away from her where she was lying on the floor. Once in the passage, he continued to threaten her by shouting: "I am not done with you yet, I am going to finish you off".

"Despite the matter being reported to the Ambassador MW Makalima, almost immediately, Mr Singapi was placed in charge of the Embassy during the Ambassador's absence and was present at the Embassy until Friday morning. Ms De Jong was merely informed by the Department's Head of Labour Relations that a decision had been taken that would be conveyed to her later.

"The PSA has been in contact with senior staff members of the department and is absolutely appalled by this incident. The PSA condemns this type of conduct, especially by a senior official representing our country, in the strongest possible terms. We are writing to the Minister demanding the strongest possible action in line with the seriousness of the matter to also ensure the personal safety of Ms De Jong", said De Clercq.

Statement issued by the Public Servants Association, May 14 2010

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