Due protocol laid down for international trip of a former president were flouted and disregarded, but for the information dispensed by the police to appropriate authorities.
Former president Jacob Zuma made a trip to Doha this week apparently without clear confirmation to authorities as per the usual protocol.
The trip was apparently at the invitation of the Emir of Qatar, Sheik Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani. The SA embassy in the country only became aware of the trip when a Qatari government official contacted them.
Ambassador Faizel Moosa wrote to International Relations Minister Lindiwe Sisulu after he had received an email from a Qatari official.
The normal protocol dictates that the Presidency, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) and the relevant embassy are informed when a former president makes an international trip such as this.
President Cyril Ramaphosa confirmed to the newspaper that he had heard about the trip taking place but that he knew nothing about its details.
Dirco spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya said police had informed them of the trip.
Zuma’s office did not respond to questions by the newspaper as to the purpose of the trip.
In April last year, Zuma hosted the emir in an official state visit at the Union Buildings.
According to report, Zuma wanted to avoid being embarrassed by protesters who were trying to remove him from power.
A member of the Qatari delegation saying it was a “joke” and “unbelievable” that Zuma should treat the emir with such disrespect.
In March, Moosa said South Africa had a “soft spot” for that country.
Speaking to The Peninsula, a Qatari newspaper, Moosa said South Africa had a great deal to offer to Qatar, not only exporting products, but also expertise in agriculture, among other things.