Durban - Top spy and South Africa’s former ambassador to Japan Thulani Dlomo has resurfaced and his lawyer has refuted allegations that he disappeared without a trace, and hence was fired.
Speaking out for the first time since he returned from his ambassador’s post in Japan in February, the elusive Dlomo rejected claims that he was in hiding, and had absconded from work.
In an exclusive interview with Daily News at a secret location last week, Dlomo said he was in touch with his employer, the Department of State Security, when he returned to the country early this year.
Dlomo, who worked as the head of counter-intelligence said the reason he did not report for work was due to the fact that he was ill. He had forwarded sick notes to the department headed by State Security Minister Ayanda Dlodlo to alert them about his illness.
Speaking through his attorney, Philani Shangase of AP Shangase and Associates, Dlomo said he intended to challenge his dismissal in court because it was unfair and unlawful. Shangase lamented that while the department claimed to the media that his client was fired and it could not serve him with the letter of dismissal, this was in fact not true.
Shangase claimed that when he contacted the department about Dlomo’s medical aid, which was recently cancelled, he was told his client had been fired. “They said they had attached the dismissal letter in their responding email but the letter was not there. I alerted them about that and on October 21, they said I must send them another email address because they suspected the one they were using was unable to open the attachment and so I did that.
“Several days later, I am yet to receive that purported letter of dismissal,” he said. “For us to go to court we need that termination letter We don’t know the basis for the termination at this stage because we haven’t received the letter. But we suspect that they will say maybe he absconded (from) work, but he has medical evidence that he has been sending to the office of Deputy State Security Minister Zizi Kodwa about his ailment,” he said.
Dlomo was present during Shangase’s comments and sat nodding in approval throughout the interview. Shangase said the only letter they received from the department was the one that explained why they had stopped his medical aid benefits.
Shangase said Dlomo’s matter of his dismissal would be heard in the Durban Labour Court where the Department of State Security is expected to explain itself.
The Department of International Relations and Co-operation is also expected to detail in court why Dlomo was recalled as South Africa’s ambassador to Japan.
Its spokesperson Clayson Monyela said the department was unable to disclose the reasons for recalling Dlomo.