Sbu Ndebele‚ SA’s former high commissioner to Australia and the erstwhile minister of transport‚ offered to leave office in Canberra to avoid sullying the country’s reputation.
Speaking to Business Day on Friday‚ Ndebele confirmed he was back in the country and ready to answer to charges against him related to the extension of a contract at the Department of Transport while he was minister.
Analysts and observers had warned of the damage to the country of having a diplomat with criminal allegations hanging over his head.
Ndebele‚ who is expected to appear in the High Court in Pretoria in December‚ told Business Day he had not been pushed to leave the office.
“It was an agreement. If you look at my own approach to things‚ you don’t put an organisation in a position where you have to choose between Sbu and the movement.
“You remove yourself from that. Certain issues don’t need to drag other people in. We are settling that‚” said Ndebele.
He said there had never been a discussion of any payment to him by the high commission for leaving the post.
“We haven’t discussed anything like a severance package. If there are allegations against you about such serious matters‚ you answer them. Everything you are talking about (was) being discussed and exhausted in 2010‚” he said.
Ndebele said that he was “not worried” as the court case’s outcome remained to be seen.