News24

Handbag furore: Matter of principle

2011-09-16 22:26

Johannesburg - The contents of International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane's handbag are not up for discussion, her spokesperson said on Friday.

"I can't believe you are asking that," Clayson Monyela said when asked why she recently refused to have her handbag scanned at an airport in Norway.

"It's not an issue we want to debate... She was strong and defended her principle, and we have moved on from there."

Monyela said the Vienna Convention exempted diplomats from luggage searches at airports, and the minister - as the country's top diplomat - was right to stand her ground.

"At every airport, no diplomats are searched. This is why she refused."

The minister's handbag drama in Norway cost South African taxpayers more than R200 000.

Nkoana-Mashabane, who was on a state visit to that country earlier this month, refused to have her bag passed through an X-ray scanner at an airport in Oslo, the Mail & Guardian reported.

As a result, she missed her scheduled commercial flight to her next diplomatic engagement in Bulgaria. A private-charter executive jet, which cost R235 343, was then hired to transport her.

It was unclear what she was carrying in her handbag and why she was keen to avoid security screening.

The Democratic Alliance and the Freedom Front Plus expressed outrage over the incident.

DA spokesperson Lindiwe Mazibuko said Nkoana-Mashabane should pay back the money out of her own pocket.

"Yet again, ordinary South Africans have had to foot the bill for the vanity and excesses of those who are meant to be public servants.

"Government ministers should be subject to the same security regulations as every other airline passenger, and there should be no provision that allows members of the executive to bill the public for their superiority complexes."

The DA also wanted her to reimburse her department for the cost of the flight she missed, as it resulted in her missing the meeting in Bulgaria.

"It is time for members of our government to understand that they are not more important than the citizens they serve," Mazibuko said in a statement.

"The handbag incident underscores just how out of touch this government is with the economic realities of the majority of South Africans."

FF Plus spokesperson Corné Mulder said the minister could have handled the situation differently.

"It is absurd that South Africa has to waste money because the minister insisted on her right to diplomatic immunity," he said in a statement.

"She could have seen to it that her political counterpart in Oslo was contacted immediately to resolve the situation."

She should have allowed her handbag through the scanner so as to not miss her flight, said Mulder.

He asked why the South African embassy in Oslo had not made prior arrangements to prevent the "embarrassing and expensive" situation.

Comments
  • ttrevenen - 2011-09-16 22:33

    Lindiwe Mazibuko... a voice of reason :)!

      proudandpink - 2011-09-16 22:41

      Isn't she great! Gives one hope compared to the other bunch of low-lifes.

      Unskinny Bob - 2011-09-17 08:12

      When the ex-wife of the countries state security minister is a convicted drug dealer (convicted while they were still married) I guess it is justified for a country like Norway not to take any chances.

      TGSA - 2011-09-17 09:10

      Personally? I think this "diplomatic status" crap should be gotten rid of. These public servants (yes, they are supposed to SERVE THE PUBLIC!) get carried away with their own importance (and really, are they THAT important?), don't have to pay traffic fines, can claim 'immunity' for just about any crime they commit, hate to think how many diplomatic passports the South African government has issued! And if I have to get my bags scanned at the airport, why shouldn't they? By them not doing it, could that not be a security risk for us all?

      betweenu&me - 2011-09-17 09:16

      Maite Nkoana-Mashabane can probably afford the R250k - the SA tax payer can't!

      cliffarc - 2011-09-17 10:26

      - Her misguided,unfounded principles versus a R250,00 burden for taxpayers - What is the more important consideration ?

      letsee - 2011-09-17 10:33

      She used our money to defend a personality matter. If she had to pay with her money what would have been the outcome? The woman is unfit to protect the financial interest of South Africa.

      Mart - 2011-09-17 12:33

      SA Government ministers have perfected having 'selective priciples' down to a fine art ! Pull the other one, it's got bells on it !

  • Daveza - 2011-09-16 22:41

    If she thought her principles were worth 250 grand then she can pay it herself.

      Really - 2011-09-17 01:45

      At least it is R250k less that can be stolen. :) It just show how useless the rand is.

      Daniel - 2011-09-17 10:26

      Its so easy to stand by your principles when you are not paying the #$%@& BILL !!

      dave_23 - 2011-09-17 16:56

      I wonder why "not wasting taxpayer money" is NEVER a "matter of principle" with these ministers.

  • proudandpink - 2011-09-16 22:42

    The only principle here is one of extreme arrogance, but old Clayson also thinks he is very important so wouldn't understand it. Maite was probably on a mission for Cheryl Cwele.

  • RuthK - 2011-09-16 22:43

    think she was working for Sheryl Cwele? lol!

  • leonard - 2011-09-16 22:47

    Enough already.The other site has over 500 posts on this so called diplomat without manners and respect for another countries rules and regulations.And please, all the apologists for her,give it a break.

  • mynah - 2011-09-16 23:07

    If we have to pay for her refusal to do what we all do when travelling, she at least owes us a plausible explanation.

  • sonet.vd.westhuizen - 2011-09-16 23:07

    There goes more of our tax money that could have fed starving children in SA!!!!!

  • Paul Hughes - 2011-09-16 23:40

    Retards. There is a fine line between principle and reality. I see that both were excuses to try and prove a point which they do not care for. Shame on you ANC.

  • foregone - 2011-09-16 23:44

    Could not agree with our minister more. The only thing wrong is that the offending country didn't pay - at the very least out of embarrasment.

      CVDL - 2011-09-16 23:49

      The offending country being South Africa. Having a cabinet full of retards. Yuck.

      RichardS - 2011-09-17 06:36

      I agree with you. It is not a matter of principle, it is in fact a matter of International Law. IF the Minister was within her rights to exercise her diplomatic rights according to the Vienna Convention, and should not have been searched, South Africa should recover the costs of alternative transport arrangement from the Norwegian government. The reason we exempt diplomats in these situations is to prevent a worst case scenario. Let's imagine a scenario wher Hillary Clinton (US Secretary of State) is detained and forced to hand her handbag over to officials and wave her diplomatic rights at an airport, say for instance in Syria or Iran?? Evidence is then planted. We allow, dictators with proper accreditation, certain diplomatic privileges in free countries to prevent diplomats from free countries being victimised in non-democratic states. This is a basic principle of international law. Let's think through this properly. We should all be outraged that one of our top SA diplomats was not afforded the same protections and rights as those from other countries... Norway should pay the costs of alternative transport for the Minister, and furnish an apology.

      Valis - 2011-09-17 07:21

      @RichardS: She was NOT being forced to hand over her handbag and she was NOT being searched. They simply wanted to put her handbag through the x-ray machine. None of the contents would have showed up on the screen except for any large metal objects like weapons. It's exactly the same as refusing to go through a metal detector because it will "see" what you have in your pockets. That is sheer idiocy, but then that is the level of mentality of our government, and obviously yourself. And it's "waive", moron.

      resiststance - 2011-09-17 07:32

      RichardS: Just because you don't HAVE to let someone do something doesn't mean you can't do it anyway, its called graciousness or humility - both of which are lost on the human leeches known as the ANC (and seemingly lost on you as well) By your logic nobody should ever help an old lady across the road because there is no law that says that they should have to. You and everyone like you are pathetic slimes, society would benefit from your absence.

      piet.strydom - 2011-09-17 08:51

      BTW, only "diplomatic bags" re exempted. not personal baggage.

      piet.strydom - 2011-09-17 10:13

      Article 40 does not grant immunity from inspection to the personal baggage of a diplomatic agent such as the Ambassador. This is true regardless of whether the Ambassador was travelling for personal reasons or for official business. Such seizures, as well as arrests of diplomats, are supported by judicial opinions from several countries. http://law.lclark.edu/clinics/international_environmental_law_project/our_work/cites/diplomatic_immunity.php

      cliffarc - 2011-09-17 10:41

      - If Richard S feels so strongly in his misguided defence of this idiot, let him pay the bill.

      resiststance - 2011-09-17 11:06

      RichardS: actually I spell it resiststance for a reason. Think for a while and you might notice it is actually two words joined together to make one. (resist + stance) Of course I wouldn't expect any better from someone who is obviously small minded like you, someone like you would obviously automatically take the logically easy path and assume the other person is dumb and can't spell correctly. (rather than realise that perhaps they have missed something and that they in fact are the stupid one)

      cliffarc - 2011-09-17 11:38

      - RichardS - here's a cloth to wipe that Egg off your face.

      Sven - 2011-09-17 12:21

      1. The receiving State shall, in accordance with such laws and regulations as it may adopt, permit entry of and grant exemption from all customs duties, taxes, and related charges other than charges for storage, cartage and similar services, on: (a) Articles for the official use of the mission; (b) Articles for the personal use of a diplomatic agent or members of his family forming part of his household, including articles intended for his establishment. 2. The personal baggage of a diplomatic agent shall be exempt from inspection, unless there are serious grounds for presuming that it contains articles not covered by the exemptions mentioned in paragraph 1 of this article, or articles the import or export of which is prohibited by the law or controlled by the quarantine regulations of the receiving State. Such inspection shall be conducted only in the presence of the diplomatic agent or of his authorized representative. Article 41 1. Without prejudice to their privileges and immunities, it is the duty of all persons enjoying such privileges and immunities to respect the laws and regulations of the receiving State. They also have a duty not to interfere in the internal affairs of that State.

  • StBad - 2011-09-17 00:06

    If, as a person in government, you feel a matter of principle is worth R235 000 (of the taxpayers money) then there should be no place for you.

      Axiom - 2011-09-17 08:20

      You are right, Oslo Airport Company should foot the bill, not RSA. At the very least disrespect to our diplomat, at worst, Nazi behaviour lurking there.

      Granny - 2011-09-17 08:43

      Oh for heaven's sake Axiom, it's a bloody handbag - all that was required was for it go to through the scanner, not be opened and searched. Time some of these ministers got over their own self-importance and behaved with a bit more decorum. All it showed was her lack of class.

      allie - 2011-09-17 09:31

      Is`nt there somebody that can take this moron to task in court to make her pay back our money?Come on DA,do your thing we`ll support you.

  • Mandla - 2011-09-17 00:20

    Diplomats in SA a treated with respect so as our diplomats should be treated the same when visiting foreign land.If diplomats of that country are treated like what they did to her,they will be an outcry.We will be called names and told how unproffesional we are.People should learn to treat us well if they want the some treatmant from us.For you Lindiwe Mazibuko i just wonder why Julias Malema called you tea girl of the madam,it because you behaved like one.

      gatvol4corru - 2011-09-17 01:19

      you are showing your 3rd world IQ here comrade

      gaharaa - 2011-09-17 01:54

      Didn't mention R235000 I see.

      gaharaa - 2011-09-17 01:54

      A mere oversight?

      gaharaa - 2011-09-17 01:58

      And if they can't organise a bloody hearing, how can we expect them to get their paperwork in order? I mean, you tell me why she wasn't deemed a diplomat and I will tell you why Africa is the dark continent or why the Dinosaurs didn't have atomic comet smashers. We don't know, you don't know. The point is the money. The money. The money. Not anything else. The money. Pick up the bloody phone and organise for a later meeting and save money. Money Money. SA is far from rich Mandla. And if you disagree, go and speak to that begger on the corner in the morning.

      ES - 2011-09-17 02:24

      Yes Mandla Since she did have Diplomatic exemption at having her bag checked at the airport certainly raises the question as to why she was singled out to be checked as afforded to all diplomats. However, we do not know why they dropped protocol in this instance but we should rather be analyzing her reaction to this. If having nothing to hide any normal person would allow their luggage to be scanned and as there had been a breach in Protocol this matter should have been taken up with the relevant authorities at a later date. To “stick to your principles” in this particular case at the cost of SA citizens is bordering on psychopathic arrogance.

      gaharaa - 2011-09-17 02:31

      YAY ES. In all honesty I was hoping they could come to their senses with a little nudge but unfortunately it seems they need to have these things spelled out to them. Maybe they can't read correctly spelled words. My new theory.

      Valis - 2011-09-17 07:31

      @RichardS: She was NOT being forced to hand over her handbag and she was NOT being searched. They simply wanted to put her handbag through the x-ray machine. None of the contents would have showed up on the screen except for any large metal objects like weapons. It's exactly the same as refusing to go through a metal detector because it will "see" what you have in your pockets. That is sheer idiocy, but then that is the level of mentality of our government, and obviously yourself. I love the way you try to make up an analogy and fail miserably, yet call people here "dimwitted", lol. Let me repeat it for you one more time as you are obviously too slow to get it. IT WAS AN X-RAY SCANNER. They did NOT want to cavity search her, look in her handbag, or even go near her person. If you can't see the difference between the former and the latter you are beyond dimwitted.

      resiststance - 2011-09-17 07:37

      RichardS: You can't just equate random analogies that have absolutely nothing to do with one another. In the case of the body cavity search it is harmful to the person undergoing it, thus refusing it is reasonable. Having your handbag scanned for metal objects on the other hand is not harmful (unless you are breaking the law in some way) and thus it is not unreasonable to expect someone to be gracious and allow it even if they can get away with not allowing it. Things like this need to be evaluated on a case by case basis, reasonable people who do not see everything as black and white (ANC and you) are capable of making such reasoned judgements.

      Dead Skunk - 2011-09-17 07:42

      You started of well then dropped into the same sort of rubbish expounded by many of the others...Pity you were doing well up to the last sentence.

      mario88 - 2011-09-17 07:51

      Eish, comrade Mandla. I think you talk to,to,to,to,too much nonsense.

      piet.strydom - 2011-09-17 08:55

      @Mandla - Actually, SA is way out of line on this one: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia A diplomatic bag, also known as a diplomatic pouch is a kind of receptacle used by diplomatic missions. The physical concept of a "diplomatic bag" is flexible and therefore can take many forms e.g. an envelope, parcel, large suitcase or shipping container, etc. The most important point is that as long as it is externally marked to show its status, the "bag" has diplomatic immunity from search or seizure,[1] as codified in article 27 of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.[2] It may only contain articles intended for official use.[2] It need not be a bag; in fact, no size limit is specified by the convention. It is often escorted by a diplomatic courier, who is similarly immune from arrest and detention.[1][2]

      piet.strydom - 2011-09-17 08:56

      Personal baggage is definitely not included.

      abg100 - 2011-09-17 10:10

      God you must be one of the dumbest a holes-along with richard s-he swallowed a dictionary has a self inflated ego and you realy think anyone would want to respect you-stick with the subject and keep your d.a jibes to yourself!

      Koos Poggenpoel - 2011-09-17 10:50

      @Mandla - 2 things twat Lindiwe Mazibuko is twice the person you will ever be as she is a black lady that sees the shortcomings of our Government and thinks with the brain God gave her. Secondly, our Ministers should respect the law of the other countries visited as well as the Vienna Convention that does not exclude the search luggage for personal or business reasons. You need to understand that the "IMPOVERISHED BLACK MAN" (tongue in cheek) will never RISE from the duldrums of poverty if YOUR elected Government continues stealing tax monies. CHOP!!!! Go do some work @ Hole!

      Oldbuck - 2011-09-17 13:12

      at least she doesnt behave like you - an arrogant zot

  • CTatheist - 2011-09-17 00:51

    Chip on the shoulder stuff. Loose the attitude, its not your money.

  • kaas1 - 2011-09-17 00:56

    Another case of waste of money as only our government can do.The world is laughing again for our people that is suppose to lead us.

  • Nicholas - 2011-09-17 01:56

    Norway just had a terrorist attack - 70+ people dead. If Norway chooses to search diplomates in a time of red alert, then that is their business. Our Minister should have known this and should have allowed her bag to be searched. The world owes Africa nothing, certainly not Norway. Her actions only show disregard for the poor. R235000 is more than most ANC voters will ever make!

      Michael - 2011-09-17 07:59

      JUJU Mentality!!!!

      OZNOB - 2011-09-18 16:39

      correction it was going through a x ray machine not being physically searched

  • Sinudeity - 2011-09-17 02:01

    Does her principles involves wasting R250,000 of our countries resources?

      dave_23 - 2011-09-17 16:59

      It's easy to be 'principled' with OTHER PEOPLES MONEY

  • James - 2011-09-17 03:34

    She was wrong, Oslo has signed up to the European Rules which except only royalty and visiting heads of state. Our foreign minister should know this, and failing that should have used a modicum of common sense. More incompetence costing the taxpayer money.

      piet.strydom - 2011-09-17 08:56

      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia A diplomatic bag, also known as a diplomatic pouch is a kind of receptacle used by diplomatic missions. The physical concept of a "diplomatic bag" is flexible and therefore can take many forms e.g. an envelope, parcel, large suitcase or shipping container, etc. The most important point is that as long as it is externally marked to show its status, the "bag" has diplomatic immunity from search or seizure,[1] as codified in article 27 of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.[2] It may only contain articles intended for official use.[2] It need not be a bag; in fact, no size limit is specified by the convention. It is often escorted by a diplomatic courier, who is similarly immune from arrest and detention.[1][2]

  • Popit - 2011-09-17 04:30

    Sad how they have principles not to have scans, but none when it comes to stealing and corruption. Viva Africa

  • AJ2 - 2011-09-17 05:22

    If she knew she would have to pick up the tab, I think you would have found those 'principles' disappearing fast. She was probably angling for a private jet all along and saw a chance to get herself to miss the commercial plane.

  • Konsoomer - 2011-09-17 06:20

    Do they know the meaning of the word "principle"? 1. basic assumption: an important underlying law or assumption required in a system of thought 2. ethical standard: a standard of moral or ethical decision-making 3. way of working: the basic way in which something works

      RichardS - 2011-09-17 08:16

      Dear Konsoomer, I am making assumptions about who "they" are. But "they took a principled stand against Apartheid and got shot in the streets in 1976, while your grandfathers, fathers, uncles, brothers, and maybe even you enforced Apartheid as policemen and in the army. They utlimately provided you with the freedom you now so hate. For their reward, most of "they" still work in your garden, as ordinary workers, and they still own 13% of SA land, 6% of the wealth in funds on the stock exchange.Do you know the meaning of the word other than a copy and paste from an online dictionary?? I think they are in a better position to understand the word "principle" than you are....

      piet.strydom - 2011-09-17 08:57

      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia A diplomatic bag, also known as a diplomatic pouch is a kind of receptacle used by diplomatic missions. The physical concept of a "diplomatic bag" is flexible and therefore can take many forms e.g. an envelope, parcel, large suitcase or shipping container, etc. The most important point is that as long as it is externally marked to show its status, the "bag" has diplomatic immunity from search or seizure,[1] as codified in article 27 of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.[2] It may only contain articles intended for official use.[2] It need not be a bag; in fact, no size limit is specified by the convention. It is often escorted by a diplomatic courier, who is similarly immune from arrest and detention.[1][2]

      Wallace - 2011-09-17 12:22

      Dear RichardS, I respected your earlier comments and even agreed with some points you made, as opposed to so many other contributions to the debate, which were not to the point and contained unnecessarily emotional and infuriating phrases. Your latest unfortunate comment however, in my mind, places you in the latter group. One cannot help but wonder how many people, irrespective of race or creed, could have been "rewarded" with a decent house, a chance to study at a university or college of their choice, thereby elevating their earning ability, working conditions, potential wealth and potential land ownership if amounts like R235 343, spent to rush an irate public servant to a next meeting, were spent creating such opportunities. I would much rather be served by government officials who would, finding themselves caught up in similar situations of conflict, show some grace and allow the normal scan of personal property if they have nothing to lose. As a result such officials will retain their dignity and be able to board their normal flights in good time. I actually question the fact that there seems to be no limit to the amounts of money made available to squander in cases such as these. We South Africans, again irrespective of race or creed, should all be able to trust our democratically elected Government officials to show us, the contributors of the money they get to spend in their line of duty, enough respect to spend such money wisely.

  • minimac - 2011-09-17 06:21

    Ag shame, no blue light brigade and gang of VIP protection bullies to make way for her over inflated ego.

      thabo.tebele - 2011-09-17 07:45

      Spot on there,feeling important is what matters to her.Just like they do it everywhere in SA,on our roads,shopping malls etc.I think it might be the same situation where Winnie Mandela was stopped and she showed our traffic officials a middle finger and the poor guy almost lost his job.

  • kleinkoppi - 2011-09-17 06:34

    Only if her handbag was MARKED diplomatic bag and it CONTAINED things that is OFFICIALLY used for diplomatic reasons (Documents ect) is that bag exempt. Your little mirror and lipstick and zumbuck is not used for official purposes... Pay back the money you owe the poor and the people who could have really used it...

      RichardS - 2011-09-17 07:05

      Kleinkoppi, gebruik you grootkoppi, en probeer maar die internationale wet in hierdie omstandighede te verstaan... Jy is heeltemal verkeerd, en praat ....

      Valis - 2011-09-17 07:36

      @RichardS: "as long as it is *externally marked* to show its status, the "bag" has diplomatic immunity from search or seizure,[1] as codified in article 27 of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations." (Emphasis mine) Now will you please stop displaying your ignorance all over this forum?

      RichardS - 2011-09-17 08:07

      You are wrong, Valis. I don't think you understand the entire text as it applies to diplomatic baggage and or the diplomat'sperson. You need to differentiate between bags that go through the cargohold, and all matter which form part of the "person of the diplomat", which a hand bag is. Please know what you are talking about before commenting, but that is unfortunately not a prerequisite on this forum.

      Sven - 2011-09-17 08:41

      @Richard S. Kobro explained that airport security staff were bound by "common European Union regulations". Marit Kvarum of Norway's Civil Aviation Authority said the country had adopted European Union provisions under which only royalty and heads of state were exempt from airport luggage checks, provided certain conditions were met. Kobro said: "Here at Oslo airport we cannot deal with government officials from other countries differently from how we treat our own. The prime minister, Jens Stoltenberg, also has to go through security checks and we have never experienced any problems with him or other Norwegian ministers. Not exempt "Incidents like this almost never happen at the airport. I remember one single incident with an ambassador who also did not want to be checked. He was also denied access to the terminal." Kobro added that the airport security staff had "acted correctly and decisively in this situation". From the "Mail & Gaurdian"

      Sven - 2011-09-17 08:48

      @ richard Kobro, Head of Security at Oslo Airport, explained that airport security staff were bound by "common European Union regulations". Marit Kvarum of Norway's Civil Aviation Authority said the country had adopted European Union provisions under which only royalty and heads of state were exempt from airport luggage checks, provided certain conditions were met. Kobro said: "Here at Oslo airport we cannot deal with government officials from other countries differently from how we treat our own. The prime minister, Jens Stoltenberg, also has to go through security checks and we have never experienced any problems with him or other Norwegian ministers. Not exempt "Incidents like this almost never happen at the airport. I remember one single incident with an ambassador who also did not want to be checked. He was also denied access to the terminal." Kobro added that the airport security staff had "acted correctly and decisively in this situation". extract from the "Mail & Guardian"

      piet.strydom - 2011-09-17 09:09

      @ Rishard http://law.lclark.edu/clinics/international_environmental_law_project/our_work/cites/diplomatic_immunity.php Also bear in mind they were not seizing the bag, they were x-raying. And she is a minister, not an accredited diplomat, in any case.

      RichardS - 2011-09-17 09:32

      This is a great debate. We've at least managed to elevate the level of debate from "I hate JUJU and and ANC" soundbites to discussion of international law concepts. Piet, Sven et al, I could quote a number of sources, but the European Union provisions, and I have not studied them, would be in contravention of International Law and diplomatic protocol. The convention is clear that "....Diplomatic, consular and United Nations officials usually enjoy general immunity from searches conducted on their persons, belongings and official vehicles, at border crossings. Although searches are conducted at airports, official baggage is still exempt from such inspection, based on the same premise of immunity." "Official baggage" is defined as anything carried by that "official" in the conduct of his/her duty. Are you exempting a woman's bag from that definition? Maybe someone has better thoughts, clarity on this issue? It is very interesting in the context of our times where we deal with terrorist threats, etc...

      demonsofhate - 2011-09-18 07:06

      Don't worry guys. To RichardS, a quarter of a million taxpayer rands are far less important than this easily avoidable situation, so I'm sure he'll have no problem with footing the bill himself...

      Jacqueline - 2011-09-19 00:24

      Richard S: Aviation laws are different. Please check IATA and ICAO regulations regarding this as well as country governing civil aviation authority legislation also have a look at the Tokyo convention while you are at it!

  • Durbsdude - 2011-09-17 06:35

    SHe was being arrogant and dishonest. An embarrassment for all of South Africa....again.

  • Wessel Robertson - 2011-09-17 06:40

    Always nice to stand up for your principles if someone else is picking up the bill!!!

  • Showerhead - 2011-09-17 06:51

    As a matter of principle I will waste R235000... so what. Who are your imbeciles to question me! I will, because I can. As a matter of principle make an example of her. Nobody is above the law. What about security at airports, smuggling and so forth. Diplomats are no angles.

  • Nzx - 2011-09-17 07:01

    Good on her, the paranoid, nanny state world we live in has Fhol to do whats in a womans handbag, after 9/11 the whole world has gone nuts, as if you would be so special to get blown up by a terr

  • dagwood4455 - 2011-09-17 07:06

    as a matter of principle will I now gippo a bit on my tax return

      burtfred - 2011-09-17 07:30

      That's Gyppo

  • Zee - 2011-09-17 07:24

    Principles!!!!!...my big fat brown cheeks

  • Shorts1 - 2011-09-17 07:33

    It is really great when taxpayers pick up the bill for Government official's ' principles ?'. If this very naive women had to bear the costs of her decision herself, she would very quickly have adapted to the situation that she was faced with, and then lodged a formal complaint afterwards. As a colleague that I worked with many years ago always said " I have my principles, but, if you don't like these, I have others. "

  • mynah - 2011-09-17 07:48

    Those with strong principles put their money where their mouths are - so pay up, minister, instead of expecting us to do so.

  • Ivor Notion - 2011-09-17 07:58

    We should all take a step back and think about this situation for a minute. A government minister is exempt from bagage searches under the Vienna Convention, so in principle she was right to refuse it. Granted it could have been done differently so as to avoid the costs of a chartered flight, she could have conceded and taken it up diplomatically later. However,on the other hand, the Vienna Convention makes the assumption that government ministers are honest, ethical, honourable and beyond reproach......which ours are certainly not.....so maybe they suspected something and wanted to search.

      RichardS - 2011-09-17 08:25

      Ivor, the reason we have this international protocol is not to allow a Syrian, Iranian, North Korean, Libyan etc... hamfisted airport official to have the discretion to make that same judgement when an acredited diplomat passes through their terminals. Otherwise, the exceptions will undermine the general rule of exemption.

      Sven - 2011-09-17 08:45

      Kobro, Head of Security at Oslo Airport, explained that airport security staff were bound by "common European Union regulations". Marit Kvarum of Norway's Civil Aviation Authority said the country had adopted European Union provisions under which only royalty and heads of state were exempt from airport luggage checks, provided certain conditions were met. Kobro said: "Here at Oslo airport we cannot deal with government officials from other countries differently from how we treat our own. The prime minister, Jens Stoltenberg, also has to go through security checks and we have never experienced any problems with him or other Norwegian ministers. Not exempt "Incidents like this almost never happen at the airport. I remember one single incident with an ambassador who also did not want to be checked. He was also denied access to the terminal." Kobro added that the airport security staff had "acted correctly and decisively in this situation". extract from the "Mail & Guardian"

      JohnMK - 2011-09-17 18:36

      In his reply to you, RichardS used the correct word"acredited". The question thus is, was she acredited?

  • Cindy2810 - 2011-09-17 08:02

    geez, wonder if she also does a bit of drug smuggling on the side... fact is, if you have nothing to hide, you certainly won't miss a flight out of "principle" no, you would bite your tongue, and get on that flight, and then when you get back home, let ALL HELL BREAK LOSE!! but hey, it's only us taxpayers' money hmmmm.....

  • Voltage - 2011-09-17 08:03

    I think, "out of principle", miss "high and mighty" should be fired for wasting taxpayers money.

  • John - 2011-09-17 08:12

    As usual all that matters is the ego - two/three houses less for their loyal constituents means b all. They know they will still fool them into voting for the anc.

  • bryan hurd - 2011-09-17 08:16

    I agree that everyone should be checked,but if the idiots that made a stupid law absolving diplomats from being checked then the airport staff should have proper training in the various laws,and that particular airports officials should be liable not the minister for the costs,then they wont do that again.

      Sven - 2011-09-17 08:46

      Kobro, Head of Security at Oslo Airport, explained that airport security staff were bound by "common European Union regulations". Marit Kvarum of Norway's Civil Aviation Authority said the country had adopted European Union provisions under which only royalty and heads of state were exempt from airport luggage checks, provided certain conditions were met. Kobro said: "Here at Oslo airport we cannot deal with government officials from other countries differently from how we treat our own. The prime minister, Jens Stoltenberg, also has to go through security checks and we have never experienced any problems with him or other Norwegian ministers. Not exempt "Incidents like this almost never happen at the airport. I remember one single incident with an ambassador who also did not want to be checked. He was also denied access to the terminal." Kobro added that the airport security staff had "acted correctly and decisively in this situation". extract from the "Mail & Guardian"

  • mike881 - 2011-09-17 08:22

    Wonder if she is a good friend of cheryl cele - Yet another drug mule!

  • Megan - 2011-09-17 08:56

    It's quite obvious that a lot of people here don't seem to understand the international laws regarding diplomats. Under NO circumstances did any of the security have any right to demand that she be searched. This would be exactly the same as them demanding to search someone like Condaleeza Rice and do you people honestly think that in those circumstances the American's wouldn't throw the full force of the treaty at the offending country (which in this case, for a change, is NOT South Africa). In fact, make it more relevant: If any one our our Airport security or whatever insisted on searching the foriegn affairs minister of any other country there would be huge questions to answer. She had every right to refuse them access to her baggage and THEY should cover the costs, not her.

      piet.strydom - 2011-09-17 09:20

      Megan, you have it completely wrong. In the first instances, this woman is not a diplomat, she is a cabinet minister. The immunity applies to diplomatic pouches, not personal baggage, ito the Geneva Convention. Oslo followed Euro Union protocol, which exempts only the bags of heads of state and royalty. And no, drama queens don't qualify as royalty

      RichardS - 2011-09-17 10:32

      Absolute right Megan. That's is my understanding and experience in this area of international law... "A diplomat is a person appointed by a state to conduct diplomacy with another state or international organization." In this case the Minister of International Relations was entitled to diplomatic immunity, clearly. Diplomatic pouches are basically what the diplomat says it is - an envelope, a handbag, a lip stick case.... My understanding here is that international law/convention in this area trumps any European Union protocol. And Piet, an SA drama queen or even Mad Bob north of the border with a purse, who happens to have diplomatic immunity reciprocally granted would still unfortunately, qualify unfortunately for it.

      piet.strydom - 2011-09-17 17:21

      @ Richard - People have repeatedly shown you here that the minister was in the wrong, why are you keeping on trying to defend the minister? Mad Bob would qualify by virtue of being a head of state. Our drama queen neither qualifies as a head of state, nor as royalty. BTW, it was a joke....

  • Ndlovu - 2011-09-17 09:00

    she does not wanna show her dildo...!

  • Yvonne - 2011-09-17 09:02

    WHAT DID SHE HAVE TO HIDE??????????

  • v3 - 2011-09-17 09:04

    We KNOW that ANC crime, arrogance, wasting of taxpayers' money and depriving the poor "is not an issue we want to debate" - that's why they are passing a gagging law and why they pack the Constitutional Watchdogs with strategically deployed lapdogs. The "debate" is called being accountable. That is PRECISELY why the issue SHOULD be debated. If she feels so strongly about this, is Madam Nkoana-Mashabane prepared to fit the bill (or is the ANC prepared to pay from its lootings)? Or is it only when the cost of her ego trip comes from the poor that she makes these "statements". The minister is not an accredited diplomat so her spin of "diplomatic immunity" does not apply - nor is a handbag considered a "diplomatic pouch. A so-called "diplomat" Maite Nkoana-Mashabane should be aware that the search was for security reasons and refusing to co-operate is undermining airline security and playing into the hands of terrorists coming a few weeks after Norway's hate-speech tragedy and with the ANC's unfortunate past and present associations and its current undermining the domestic Rule of Law, this action is particularly unfortunate. Any president but lame-chicken Jacob 783 would have apologised to the Norwegians and reprimanded or fired her, as she is patently unsuited to the post. While Mazibuko is correct, demanding a recovery of the fruitless and wasteful expenditure is not a DA thing; it is mandated by the Public Finance and Management Act (which the old ANC passed into law)

  • Mart - 2011-09-17 09:09

    The authorities in Oslo are not to blame, the SA Foreign Affairs Department is for not making the required arrangements. This Minister should direct her 'principals' at Foreign Affairs. As Minister of International Relations I would think that she would be a little more circumspect than letting her principles potentially cause an international incident.....unless of course she was hiding something in her bag which is not totally out of the question.

  • Nadia - 2011-09-17 09:12

    The Minister's principles should come out of her own pocket and not the people she"serves".

  • Uncle Phil - 2011-09-17 09:24

    I wonder how many RDP houses could have been built for the price of our "public servants' principles". This is probably not the first time either, just the first time its been documented.

  • abg100 - 2011-09-17 09:50

    These so called ministers are a joke! How dare anyone ask what she had in her bag??Who the hell does she think she is??When youre a minister you are there to serve the people not worry about your over inflated ego. She is not strong-just plain dumb,arrogant,self enriching and useless as all the rest of the anc free riders!

  • Kevin - 2011-09-17 10:08

    Three questions. 1: What are the law's in Norway? If it say's that ALL persons, including diplomats must pass through security and have their bags xrayed. Then that is the law. After all, the pilots have to have their bags xrayed, even removing their jackets. 2: Did she show here diplomatic passport before hand and identify herself before, or did she do that afterwards? 3: Why did was she not using the VIP section? And lastly a note. It would have being a problem if the xray had shown that she was carrying drugs. She could not be arrested and the fallout would have being interesting to say the least.

  • swoan - 2011-09-17 10:10

    why do all politicians has soe kind of scandal?

  • Vela Stardust - 2011-09-17 10:14

    Very easy to be principled when you don't have to foot the bill! If it were up to the South African taxpayer, this bimbo would be FIRED!

  • InCOLDblood - 2011-09-17 10:33

    This bat was going to fly on a public airline - she should have been locked up for defeating the ends of justice.

  • letsee - 2011-09-17 10:33

    She used our money to defend a personality matter. If she had to pay with her money what would have been the outcome? The woman is unfit to protect the financial interest of South Africa.

  • tim - 2011-09-17 10:36

    Would she have stood her ground and be committed to her principles if the money was coming out of her pocket?

  • Lou_is - 2011-09-17 10:37

    Good for her. Now government should also ask for an apology from Norway and get repayment for the expenses.