In its statement, the Lesotho government said it was disappointed and embarrassed by the alleged actions of the diplomats.
“The SA government took this action due to the said diplomats failing to comply with the laws of the Republic of SA, specifically the illicit trade in duty-free alcohol,” the statement reads.
In January last year, EWN reported there was a “duty-free alcohol ring” being run by Lesotho diplomats in SA.
According to EWN, Lesotho’s consul general in Johannesburg, Majoro Mohapi, “spilled the beans” after the electricity supply to his Sandhurst home was cut off “because he owed more than R100,000 and had been reconnected illegally”.
“I was ill advised by my staff that sometimes the bills were not paid and so it piled up until City Power cut it off and my staff reconnected it,” he was quoted as saying.
Mohapi reportedly claimed some staff had resorted to selling alcohol they bought duty-free. It was “knowledge” his colleagues sold duty-free alcohol and took it across the border.
“I would say 90% of my staff are doing that and they are making profits. To me it is an illegal business because they are defrauding the SA revenue authority of tax,” he was quoted as saying.