Durban - The appointment of former chief of state protocol Bruce Koloane as South Africa’s ambassador to the Netherlands has raised the ire of opposition parties, which have vowed to challenge it.

Koloane was expected to take up the post this week. Last year, he conceded he was to blame for the Gupta family illegally landing a passenger plane at Waterkloof Air Base. He was demoted to the position of liaison officer.

The DA said it would write to the chairman of the international relations and co-operation portfolio, Moses Masango, requesting “an urgent sitting of the committee to ascertain the fitness of Bruce Koloane as a South African representative to The Hague”.

The IFP’s Albert Mncwango said he would write to minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

DA spokesman Stevens Mokgalapa said the nomination was “deeply concerning”.

“South Africa must be represented by officials who have integrity. They represent our country and therefore contribute to our image abroad,” he said.

It was “scandalous” that state employees who had been implicated in “unlawful activity are deemed adequate to act on behalf of the country in matters of foreign affairs”.

“We are our own worst enemy when it comes to our standing in the world,” Mokgalapa said.

He lambasted the government for turning diplomatic postings into “dumping grounds”, saying it did not help the country’s image.

“In this country, a person is implicated in wrongdoing, gets hidden for a while and then suddenly gets appointed as an ambassador in another country as if he is being rewarded for doing wrong,” he said.

The Mercury