A former South African diplomat who was recalled from Cuba for behaving badly almost a decade ago has been vindicated for a third time – this week by the Supreme Court of Appeal.
It all started in 2009 when Reginald Ananius Marimi was stationed at the South African embassy in the Caribbean island country. He was employed by Home Affairs and held the position of first secretary.
Then‚ according to court records‚ Marimi got caught up with the second secretary who “in a state of intoxication” insulted locals and threw a can of beer at them. The second secretary also insulted two officers and Marimi was “involved in other serious traffic law violations”.
Marimi was detained by state security agents when he “tried to go through an unauthorised area” and he allegedly “attacked physically and insulted in a disrespectful manner an airport customs official”.
He was recalled to South Africa‚ his overseas cost of living allowance was withdrawn and he was told disciplinary action would be taken against him. Back on home soil‚ Marimi waited to hear from Home Affairs but nothing happened.
He then complained to the public protector that the process followed by the department was unfair‚ as was the withdrawal of his allowance. He said the failure to institute disciplinary proceedings had prejudiced his reputation.
The public protector found in his favour and said‚ among other things‚ that the recall was procedurally flawed and amounted to maladministration‚ and that he had been treated unfairly.
The minister and the director-general of Home Affairs tried to have the report – Unjust Forfeiture‚ by then-public protector Thuli Madonsela – set aside in the high court in Pretoria. They argued that Madonsela did not have the powers to investigate the matter and that her conclusion was flawed. They failed to convince Judge Bill Prinsloo but he granted them leave to appeal.
On Thursday the department was dealt another blow by the SCA.[tooltip id=”4500c2f113202943ff1ae30d00c9d4ac”] [/tooltip]“In the founding affidavit‚ no basis is laid for the assertion that the public protector’s conclusion is factually and legally incorrect as well as unreasonable. As the onus rests on an applicant in judicial review proceedings to establish the grounds of review upon which he or she relies‚ the director-general’s bare averments of irregularity are insufficient‚” the court found.[tooltip type=”box” html=”Input Your Content Here” box_background_color=”#eeeeee” box_opacity=”0.95″ box_padding=”10″ box_border_color=”#3F3F3F” box_border_width=”1″ box_border_radius=”0″ id=”4500c2f113202943ff1ae30d00c9d4ac” /]