SA expresses concern over missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi has not been seen since he walked into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.

Journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Khashoggi, a contributor to The Washington Post, vanished on 2 October during a visit to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The South African government has expressed concern over the disappearance of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The Washington Post journalist has not been seen since he walked into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.

Turkish officials have said they believe he was killed inside the consulate, but Saudi officials insist he had left the consulate safely.

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) says it welcomes the diplomatic efforts between Turkey and Saudi Arabia in investigating the matter.

“We’re following and engaging with the matter through diplomatic means. And we hope that the engagement between the Turkish and Saudi Arabian government, and all other institutions that are involved, will bring finality to this matter,” says the department’s spokesperson, Ndivhuwo Mabaya.

Turkish officials have said they believe the Saudi journalist was murdered and his body removed, which the Saudis have strongly denied. Khashoggi was a US resident who wrote columns for the Washington Post and he was critical of the Saudi government, calling for reforms.

At the same time, members of the US Congress, including some of Trump’s fellow Republicans, are among the loudest voices in the United States demanding answers and action on Khashoggi, who moved to Washington last year fearing retribution for his criticism of the crown prince.

Republican Representative Jeb Hensarling, the outgoing chairperson of the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, said Washington might have to seriously review relations with Saudi Arabia if Riyadh was involved in killing Khashoggi.

Additional information by Reuters.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)