Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) has reportedly confirmed its embassy officials in Turkey have been assisting 21 students sponsored by the foundation of suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule.
This after the students – aged between 20 and 28 – were left stranded in that country after being evicted from their residence in Istanbul with nothing to eat, the Sunday Times reported.
According to the paper, embassy officials in Ankara had to take money from their own pockets to put the Magashule Foundation students in two tiny two-bedroom apartments following their eviction by the owner of Bogazici Student Dormitories.
A mission report from the embassy reportedly stated that Magashule’s promises to pay the owner of the private student housing service “were unfulfilled”, and officials were “concerned that this matter would attract media attention and put SA in a bad light”.
The report was dated 5 September 2021.
The owner of Bogazici Student Dormitories, Mehmet Kara, told Sunday Times Magashule owed him over R13 million (€800,000) after not paying his bill for 32 months. The paper could not reach Magashule for comment on the allegations.
Dirco spokesperson Lunga Ngqengelele said the students, who study at the private Bahcesehir University, were currently accommodated at two low-cost hotels at the cost of the embassy officials.
He said the department had written a letter to the Magashule Foundation on the matter and they were “awaiting their response”.
The students reportedly completed three years of their studies and had one year left to be done with their qualifications.
Compiled by Thapelo Lekabe