POLITICS

South Africa Fires Its Jailbird High Commissioner To Singapore

Hazel Ngubeni has lost her State Security Agency security clearance over her drug-smuggling record and thus lost her international job.

19/02/2017 09:31 SAST | Updated 19/02/2017 09:57 SAST
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Hazel Ngubeni

South Africa's high commissioner to Singapore, Hazel Ngubeni, has been fired after being exposed as a convicted drug trafficker, reported the Sunday Times.

The newspaper reported Nelson Kgwete, spokesperson for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, as saying that Ngubeni's contract was "terminated" as her security clearance had been withdrawn by the State Security Agency.

Ngubeni told the Sunday Times she had not received a letter ending her contract and declined to comment further.

The newspaper said that Ngubeni had concealed her criminal record when she was nominated for the post in 2013.

The newspaper reported on her criminal record in October 2016, saying she was fired as a South African Airways (SAA) air hostess after she was jailed in the U.S. for two years for smuggling cocaine into that country. She had also been arrested at O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg in 1995 and charged with smuggling in heroin from Thailand; she was later acquitted after a key witness refused to testify.