Lassy Chiwayo and his partner. Image credit: Simon Mathebula.
Lassy Chiwayo, South African consul general to Shanghai, has been recalled to Pretoria ‘for health reasons’ after he was allegedly found walking naked close to his home in the city three months ago.
According to an anonymous source of South African paper Sunday World:
Chiwayo was found several times traipsing around the streets without his clothing.
“He would disappear for days without trace and he would be found walking around naked,” says the source.
It is alleged that when he was deported, Chiwayo was escorted to the airport by police officers.
He was also subdued with tranquilisers upon arrival at OR International Airport, the source explains.
An ANC veteran who spent time in prison alongside Nelson Mandela, Chiwayo is former mayor of Nelspruit, where his home was targeted in a suspected arson attack in February. A Porsche, quad bike, and 200,000 yuan worth of Persian rugs were destroyed in the fire.
The Sunday World also claims Chiwayo attacked South Africa’s ambassador to China Bheki Langa at a function in Beijing.
But Chiwayo dismisses as untrue claims that he assaulted Langa and that he paraded naked in the streets of China.
He also poured cold water on claims that he was relieved of his duty as the consul-general.
“All that you are saying is news to me. My relationship with Dr Langa is very healthy and cordial. Where was I found naked? That’s news to me. I’m not aware of that. It is the first time I hear that from you,” he says.
Chiwayo also rubbished claims that he has “health challenges”.
According to the City Press, Chiwayo was hospitalised for stress three times as mayor of Nelspruit, and allegedly had to be restrained from attacking another ANC delegate.
A spokesperson for South Africa’s department of international relations and cooperation confirmed that Chiwayo had been recalled, but would not comment on the allegations of naked rambling.
“While on official duty in China he experienced health related challenges which necessitated the termination of his posting as consul-general,” the department told reporters.